Heinz Claims Irving-Based Melinda's Ketchup Bottle Looks a Little Too Familiar
If these two bottles were featured in a match game on the touch screen at your local bar, you could have a field day. For starters, the labels are different sizes, and the Heinz version features a ripe tomato, desperately begging to be plucked from its vine, while Melinda's features a spicy señorita.
No, you're not seeing double -- or are you?
According to Heinz, however, they're not different enough.The condiment giant recently alleged in federal court that Melinda's spicy ketchup bottle is potentially confusing customers by suggesting some affiliation with Heinz.
Along with the spicy ketchup, Irving-based Figueroa Brothers is responsible for a number of hot sauces and products under the Melinda's brand. In the lawsuit Heinz points out that while the other products are packaged in indistinctive bottles, Melinda's Spicy Ketchup is pumped into a glass container that closely resembles the eight-sided design for which they hold a patent.
Heinz also says in the suit that they asked Figueroa Brothers to change the bottle on their own in order to settle the issue amicably, but the hot sauce makers declined. Now it's up to the courts to decide.
Certainly if you step back from your monitor, do a shot of tequila, squint and look at the image above, you could easily mix the two bottles up, and the same could happen if you grasp for either bottle in the dark. But if Melinda's habanero ketchup is anything like their habanero hot sauce, there will be no mistaking the two condiments when you twist open the top.