What the…? Wrigley looks to block Perfetti Van Melle’s ‘WTF’ trademark

By Oliver Nieburg contact

- Last updated on GMT

Wrigley fears consumers may confuse 'WTF' and 'What the Fresh' marks with its Winterfresh brand
Wrigley fears consumers may confuse 'WTF' and 'What the Fresh' marks with its Winterfresh brand
Global gum leader Wrigley is trying to block the third largest gum player Perfetti Van Melle’s from registering character trademarks for ‘WTF’ and ‘What the Fresh’ in the US.

Wrigley is concerned that the terms could be confused with its Winterfresh brand and last week gave notice of opposition to Perfetti’s application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Wrigley doubts distinctiveness

Wrigley owns a trademark for ‘Winterfresh’ in the US and says it has spent large sums marketing the Winterfresh brand. It said in its opposition filing that ‘WTF’ was not distinctive to Perfetti’s confectionery and was so highly descriptive that it could never gain distinctiveness in confectionery. US Trademarks must have distinctive characters to be capable of registration.

Perfetti Van Melle Benelux applied for the two character marks on confectionery in June this year.

US gum market

Perfetti ‘s US CEO told us last year​ that his firm was the third largest global gum player with a 7.8% share and held 4% of the US market, making it third, ahead of Hershey.

Mondelēz Trident was the top selling chewing gum brand in the US in 2013, followed by Wrigley’s Orbit and Extra respectively, according to data from Statista. Perfetti’s Mentos gum was its only brand to make the top ten best sellers last year.

We have approached Wrigley and Perfetti Van Melle for comment.

Related topics: Manufacturers, Gum, Mars

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