Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Legal Battle Between Edible Arrangements and 1-800-Flowers Heating Up

Deliveries from 1-800 Flowers and Edible Arrangements usually bring smiles to recipients’ faces, but that is not the case when the organizations are delivering lawsuits. In November 2014, Edible Arrangements International filed a $97.4-million trademark infringement lawsuit against 1-800 Flowers.  Edible Arrangements alleged that 1-800 Flowers’ website, FruitBouquets.com, contained hidden code and used keyword advertising designed to deceive customers into thinking that Edible Arrangements was associated with FruitBouquets.com. Specifically, Edible Arrangements alleged that the phrase “edible arrangement” is embedded in FruitBouquet.com’s code and the site’s title that is displayed in browsers is “Edible Fruit Arrangements.” Overall, Edible Arrangement’s alleged that 1-800 Flowers incited a campaign to intentionally infringe Edible Arrangement’s trademarks and confuse customers.

Recently, 1-800 Flowers responded by filing a countersuit against Edible Arrangements sounding in allegations of “anticompetitive activities.” Specifically, 1-800 Flowers claims that Edible Arrangements has improperly claimed trademark rights in generic terms, such as “edible” and “edible arrangements,” which competitors need to use to market their products. 1-800 Flowers claimed that Edible Arrangement’s activities, lawsuits, and threats of lawsuits have chilled competition in the marketplace and will continue to chill competition unless Edible Arrangements is enjoined from engaging in these activities.