Post Consumer Brands is long known for its line of cereals, including Grape-Nuts, Shredded Wheat, and Raisin Bran. It recently launched a new line of just-add-water single-serving products to complement its conventional multi-serving box packaging. It chose to call it OK GO, but OK Go, the band known for its videos, has threatened to file a trademark infringement lawsuit, citing brand confusion.
The band sent a cease-and-desist letter in September, demanding that Post drop the trademark. The dispute is further tangled by the fact that the band worked with Post in 2011 on a Honey Bunches of Oats video, which is Post’s top seller.
Post receives trademark
Post filed an application, got a trademark from the USPTO in August 2022 and rolled out the new line in early 2023, claiming that the rock band and the cereal were clearly two unrelated products and therefore brands. Trademark law generally allows different entities to trademark the same name as long as there is no brand confusion – an example would be Delta Airlines, Delta Faucets and Delta Dental Insurance.
It added that “Okay Go” is a common term currently used and registered by various IP owners across a range of goods and services. Post tried to put the dispute behind them in December by offering to pay the band for branding collaboration and a co-marketing deal.
Post files lawsuit in an attempt to end dispute
After months of correspondence claims and counterclaims and the band refusing to budge, Post filed a federal lawsuit on January 13 in Minnesota (Post’s home state) to end the dispute or threat of future litigation. It requests that the band stop threatening to take legal action over the legal use of its trademark.