Hickory Farms, Inc. v. Snackmasters, Inc., No. 05 C 4541, 2007 WL 772919 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 8, 2007) (Kennelly, J.).
Judge Kennelly held that plaintiff’s "Beef Stick" and "Turkey Stick" marks were generic and canceled the Beef Stick mark, plaintiff had already let its "Turkey Stick" registration lapse. Plaintiff alleged that defendant infringed its marks by marketing defendant’s beef and turkey snacks in stick forms and labeling them "Beef Sticks" and "Turkey Sticks," respectively. But defendant countered with evidence that numerous companies use the terms to refer to meat products sold sell in stick form. For example, Trader Joe’s, Flat Iron, Jimmy Dean, Slim Jim and Tombstone all sell meat stick products using the marks. The Court held that the terms were generic because they name a class of goods — meat packaged in a stick form. The Court also noted that "it [was] difficult to imagine what else a seller would call a beef or turkey product packaged in stick form."