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Canadian hummus maker runs up against U.S. underwear maker

Dec. 18, 2013 at 7:43 PM

SASKATOON, Saskatchewan, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- The U.S. maker of Hanes underwear has demanded a Saskatoon hummus maker stop using a trademark it considers too close to its own.

Hanesbrand Inc.'s legal team sent a cease-and-desist letter this month to Hanes Hummus owner Yohannes Petros, who recently tried to register his food spread with trademark officials in Canada and the United States, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Wednesday.

"The mark HANES HUMMUS is essentially identical and confusingly similar to the HANES mark," Hanes associate general counsel Richard S. Donnell said in the letter to the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, hummus maker.

"Your client's mark incorporates the distinctive HANES mark in its entirety and the mere addition of the generic wording HUMMUS does not distinguish the marks."

Petros, who has been in business for more than four years, said he takes the Winston-Salem, N.C., underwear maker's move seriously but calls it "ridiculous" since he doesn't think consumers will confuse the two products.

In a written response to Hanesbrands, Petros' attorney, Nathan Dooley, said "there appears to be no danger of confusion" over the two companies' trademarks.

"I am confident that HBI is not in the food production business at all, let alone the production of fine and tasty hummus of the type manufactured and sold by Hanes Hummus," Dooley wrote.

Petros said the name for his business stems from his nickname, Hanes, and his customers have never linked his hummus with T-shirts or underwear.

"Here's you know, a large multinational just being a bully," he said.

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