Allen Bros., Inv. v. AB Foods LLC, No. 06 C 1269, 2008 WL 345600 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 6, 2008) (Andersen, J.).

Judge Andersen granted defendant AB Foods summary judgment of likelihood of confusion and dismissed plaintiff Allen Brothers’ Lanham Act claim and related state law trademark infringement claim. Allen Brothers, a seller of gourmet meats, argued that AB Foods infringed its AB trademark by using it to sell AB Foods’ gourmet meats. The Court held that this was the rare case that was so one-sided as to warrant summary judgment that there was no likelihood of confusion, even though AB Foods uses its AB mark in direct competition with Allen Brothers: 

  • The marks were not similar because Allen Brothers always used its full name along with its AB mark;
  • Allen Brothers’ customers are sophisticated meat purchasers, as evidenced by Allen Brothers’ high prices;
  • The strength of Allen Brothers’ mark is in its full name, not just AB;
  • Allen Brothers’ produced no evidence of actual confusion; and
  • Allen Brothers produced no evidence that AB Foods intended to pass off its meats as Allen Brothers products.

The Court, therefore, granted AB Foods summary judgment and dismissed the case.