Arnott’s issues ultimatum to Krispy Kreme

Posted by Isobel Drake on 24th April 2009

Arnott’s, Australia’s largest biscuit supplier, is threatening legal action against donut chain Krispy Kreme for alleged violation of their “Iced Vo-Vo” trademark – which they first registered in 1906.

Arnott’s lawyers have sent a request to Krispy Kreme to cease the use of the “Iced Dough-Vo” for one of their new range of donuts by no later than 5pm today, the ABC reported. The Iced Dough-Vo is one of a range of Australian flavours the donut retailer is using as part of an “Australiana” theme running until June 8.

The campaign has not been well received at Arnott’s though, with claims that Krispy Kreme are being misleading as the donut resembles the Iced Vo-Vo biscuit and the Iced Dough-Vo tag is phonetically similar.

Arnott’s, which has been working with the Retail Food Group (the owner of the Donut King franchise) to create a range of products linked to Arnott’s brands, alleges a breach of the Trade Marks Act and Trade Practices Act. They are consequently contemplating seeking injunctions, damages, orders for corrective advertising and/or an account of profits.

Krispy Kreme appears unconcerned by the threat, however, advising that they will not remove the Iced Dough-Vo from their menu.

“We did receive a request from lawyers representing Arnott’s that we withdraw these from the shelves in our stores because we were allegedly in breach of various trademarks,” CEO of Krispy Kreme Australia, John McGuigan, told the ABC. “We’ve taken advice on that of course, and that advice is, that’s not the case, and that Krispy Kreme customers are pretty smart and they can tell the difference between a doughnut and a biscuit.”

Arnott’s has indicated they may not take any action if the products are withdrawn from sale today.