US snack bar producer Kind L.L.C. has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan against domestic competitor Clif Bar & Co., alleging its Mojo snack bars use packaging that mimics that of Kind bars.
The lawsuit aims to stop Clif from releasing its Clif Mojo snack bars in the new wrapper design.
But Clif has no intentions to halt the controversial release as of yet.
“We’re excited by the launch of our Clif Mojo Fruit and Nut and Clif Mojo Dark Chocolate flavors,” says a spokesperson for the company. At this point, Clif is not commenting further on the pending legal matter.
According to the lawsuit, the new packaging for the Mojo bars "copies several key elements" of Kind's “distinctive trade dress.” The lawsuit mentions the rectangular transparent window on the front panel revealing a portion of the bar itself, a horizontal stripe along the front detailing the flavor name and product line description, two vertical color stripes at both ends of the bar, and a bulleted list of key health attributes set against a black background.
In a statement, Kind says Clif is responding to a consistent loss in Mojo market share by co-opting the look of its Kind bars instead of innovating.
The statement says Clif made a "dramatic leap over the line in what appears to have been a calculated progression of incremental changes, designed each time to get closer and closer to the trade dress of Kind bars and farther and farther from the package design elements that would associate the product with the Clif brand".
Kind plans to vigorously defend the brand from “consumer deception” moving forward, asserts Justin Mervis, Kind v.p.
"Clif is a longstanding and well-respected competitor in the nutritional bar marketplace, which makes this imminent release of a copycat product particularly disappointing," says Daniel Lubetzky, Kind founder and ceo.