Cookie crumbles: Oreo maker sues Parle over design infringement

Claims design of Parle's Fabio biscuits is “deceptively similar” to that of Oreo.

NEW DELHI: Mondelez-owned food manufacturer Intercontinental Great Brands, the maker of Oreo biscuits, has moved the Delhi high court against Parle Products, alleging that the design of one of its biscuit brands is similar to that of its popular offering.

Intercontinental has claimed that the design of Parle's Fabio biscuits is “deceptively similar” to that of Oreo. Both cookies do share similar visual characteristics – white cream sandwiched between two round, dark biscuits.

The court has fixed April 12 as the date for next hearing in the trademark infringement case. So far both Intercontinental and Parle have not issued a statement on the case.

Intercontinental Great Brands LLC is a unit of Mondelez International Inc. Mondelez had launched Oreo in India about a decade ago. It had gradually introduced more variants of the original Oreo cookie, including choco creme and strawberry flavours. On the other hand, Parle's Fabio biscuits entered the market in January 2020.

According to data shared by Mondelez, India is among its top-five markets by volume, and is now the fourth largest market for Oreo in the world. No surprise then that the company was quick to take legal recourse to fend off competition from a lookalike biscuit, spelling trouble for Parle. But that's the way the cookie crumbles.

This is the latest case of alleged infringement in the highly competitive biscuit market in India. There have been multiple cases of trademark infringement among various companies.

Just last year, Britannia Industries had filed an infringement case against Kishore Biyani-led Future Consumer, alleging that it had copied the packaging of several of its biscuit brands. Britannia said that Future had used 'Good Time' on one of its products, similar to Britannia's Good Day brand. In December, it filed a case against ITC for alleged infringement of its product packaging trademark.

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