Real-Life Copycat Lesson #22: Atlanta-based Meal Prep Business Ends up in Escalated Trademark Battle with Large Corporation
20 November, 2019
In 2013, Atlanta-based entrepreneur Emily Golub founded Garnish & Gather, a meal-kit, grocery, and prepared foods company. She secured a trademark for her brand, which has more than 800 weekly meal kit subscribers, in 2014. Recently, Target launched a product line, Good & Gather, offering foods such as bagged salads, cheese, granola, sparkling water, deli-fresh entrees and sides, frozen fruit, fresh vegetables, chips and nutrition bars. In addition to having a similar name, Golub identified 40-50 products that overlapped between her business and Good & Gather. Both companies also use a leaf motif in their branding and logos. Worrying that the brands are too similar and will create confusion in the market, Golub filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court Southern District of New York on Nov. 8 seeking a temporary restraining order to stop the sale of food and beverage products under the Good & Gather brand, which is expected to be a multi billion-dollar brand with more than 2,000 products by the end of 2020.
Golub feels Good & Gather jeopardizes the growth of her business because she can’t match Target’s resources. Target has offered her funds to help with search engine optimization for Garnish & Gather, but Golub declined, insisting that she needs to preserve her brand. In terms of the similarity, Golub has said Target’s representatives argued that if she had an issue with the name she should have attempted to flag Target when it initially filed the trademark with the US Patent and Trademark Office in 2016. Golub reported she didn’t have the resources to keep a law firm on retainer to look for potential future infringements.