Family Express In a Squabble Over Its Square Donuts
MERRILLVILLE, Ind. — Family Express filed a complaint for declaratory judgment in U.S. District Court on March 24, asking that it be allowed to continue to call its four-sided doughnuts "Square Donuts," reported the Chicago Tribune. The filing is an attempt to resolve a years-long conflict with the Square Donuts bakery chain.
Terra Haute, Ind.-based Square Donuts has nine locations across the state and began making its specialty pastry in the 1960s. The business sent Family Express a cease-and-desist notice in 2006, one year after the Valparaiso, Ind.-based convenience store chain began selling its four-sided doughnuts. Family Express reportedly responded by stating it did not believe it was infringing, and continued to sell its doughnuts.
Both companies attempted to trademark the Square Donuts name in 2013, but Family Express' trademark claim was thrown out due to Square Donuts filing first.
Family Express then attempted to work out an agreement with Square Donuts, but was unsuccessful, according to the news outlet.
In its U.S. District Court complaint, Family Express states that the Square Donuts name is "descriptive and generic" and therefore cannot be trademarked. It asks the court to rule that Family Express is not infringing by using the name and that Square Donuts' trademark is invalid.
Family Express operates 63 convenience stores throughout northwest and north central Indiana.