Snowballs and racketeering

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.

2 thoughts on “Snowballs and racketeering

  1. Are these state trademarks? The state doesn’t scrutinize applications, other than making sure that someone else doesn’t already hold the trademark. They’ll happily give state trademarks on generic terms that would be rejected by the US trademark office

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