Several snowball suppliers have filed suit in federal court, claiming that the venerable Sno-Wizard corporation is guilty of racketeering. WWL-TV reports on the story here; the actual federal lawsuit is found here and the counterclaim is here. Sno-Wizard, manufacturer of ice-shaving machines and snowball syrup flavors, has actively sought to trademark typical snowball flavors and defend its claims to those flavors.
Sounds like a standard trade activity, except when you discover that Sno-Wizard has trademarked things like “Orchid Cream Vanilla” and “King Cake” flavors, which are in common use all over south Louisiana (some made with Sno-Wizard flavorings, some not).
Why on earth are these generally used terms allowed to receive trademark protection? These cases crop up again and again, where a term in general circulation suddenly becomes the property of a single corporate entity.
Pah. Think I’ll go over to Plum Street Snoballs and eat a (non-Sno-Wizard) orchid cream vanilla in support of Plum Street’s intellectual property.