'Frosty' Feud

Wendy's sues United Dairy Farmers over frozen shake trademark

DUBLIN, Ohio -- The Wendy's quick-serve restaurant chain has accused United Dairy Farmers Inc. (UDF) of infringing on the trademark of its Frosty frozen shake, as well as the distinctive red and yellow colors on the cups in which the Dublin-based fast-food company's dairy desserts have been served since 1969, reported The Columbus Dispatch.

The Norwood, Ohio-based maker and distributor of Homemade brand ice cream and other dairy products has been marketing chocolate and vanilla shakes as "Frosties" and "Frosty Malts" in grocery stores and its own UDF convenience stores since 2005, according to its website.

Wendy's called the UDF products "a complete knockoff" of its Frosty dessert in the lawsuit, filed last Friday in federal court in Columbus.

Brad Lindner, president and CEO of UDF, declined to comment on the suit, a spokesperson told the Dispatch.

"Frosty is one of our original trademark products, dating back to 1969," Wendy's spokesperson Denny Lynch told the newspaper. "We are taking the necessary steps to protect this iconic brand and to avoid the inevitable confusion by consumers."

Wendy's says UDF's use of the Frosty name and colors "infringes and dilutes" its trademark and concept.

The lawsuit asks the court to stop UDF's sales of its products and to require the company to destroy their packaging.

Wendy's also is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, said the report.

UDF operates 188 c-stores in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio. UDF has been making ice cream since 1939, it said on its website. It introduced the Homemade brand in 1982.

Click here to view the full Columbus Dispatch report.