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As an Entrepreneur, This Makes Me a Little Sick

on March 1, 2012

I’m taking a sidestep away from nutritional and healthy updates to vent a bit.  We’ll call it a kind-of business update.

As an entrepreneur and business owner, I read success stories (and not so successful stories) all the time.  Learning from the ones who came before us, it’s helpful, educational and often inspiring.  I’m not naive enough to think a successful business comes easy.  But, when I came across the story about Pretzel Crisps’ trademark battle with heavyweigh Frito Lay.  Well, I got all worked up.

You can check out the full story here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/21/business/battle-over-pretzel-crisps-shows-value-of-a-brand.html?pagewanted=all

The bottom line is that Pretzel Crisps has uncovered an untapped market and come up with an innovative product (one that Frito Lay has tried and failed to make successful.  At least twice).  Years later, over $100 million dollars in sales later, they are being sued for their attempt to trademark a “generic name.”  As a new trademark “expert” I can tell you that you’re not allowed to trademark things that are too generic.  Like chocolate chip.  It is confusing to consumers and takes away opportunity from others.

My opinion?  Frito Lay has enough cash to beat the little guy into legal bankruptcy.  I get sick, thinking about the team of people over at Frito Lay whose entire focus is bringing this company down.  I know, I know, I shouldn’t be shocked.  Capitalism, and all that.  But I’m allowed to get angry.

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