Dairy Queen’s Lawsuit Against W.B. Mason Junked by Minnesota Judge

Photo: CNBC

Dairy Queen cannot hinder W.B Mason Co from selling bottled spring water called “Blizzard,” according to a federal judge’s verdict in Minnesota. The Berkshire Hathaway Inc unit sells its famous ice cream product under the same name. 

The judge ruled in favor of W.B. Mason, dismissing all claims that their product confused consumers or had the intention to do so.

Dairy Queen has been using the Blizzard name since 1946. They own five different trademarks for this tasty treat, which is why they’re considered one of America’s favorite desserts.

Though recognizing that W.B. Mason, which has two Blizzard trademarks, is not a direct competitor, Dairy Queen stated that customers might be confused due to its US restaurants selling bottled water. 

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However, the judge stated that the products had “very different audience appeal” and have both existed for 11 years even with proof that Dairy Queen’s Blizzard had reached “iconic” status – with estimated US sales of $1.1 billion in 2020. 

“Dairy Queen introduced no evidence of an actual association between the two products,” Nelson said in a statement. “If association were to occur, in all likelihood, it would have occurred by now.” 

After 12 days of non-jury hearing with 30 witnesses, the judge issued a verdict last fall. The decision is dated June 10; however, it was made private for one week. 

Dairy Queen stated that it was dismayed and assessing whether to appeal and would “vigorously enforce our rights when necessary” to safeguard the franchisees. 

In a statement, a Nixon Peabody partner representing W.B. Mason, Jason Kravitz, described the decision as “a supremely satisfying and hard-fought win.” 

Blizzard (Dairy Queen’s) has various flavors to choose from, like fruit and nut-based blends and M&Ms or Oreos mixed in for extra toppings.

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