Aldi targeted in tuna lawsuit

Supermarket chain Aldi’s trademark infringement on American Tuna’s Pole & Line sustainable canned tuna was most likely unintentional, according to an attorney for the supplier.

Still, executives with Bonita, California, U.S.A.-based American Tuna were upset enough of Aldi’s use of “Pole & Line” on its canned tuna to file a lawsuit against the massive chain, which operates 1,600 U.S. stores in 34 states.

American Tuna filed the trademark infringement complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California on 16 September, claiming that Aldi used the ‘Pole & Line’ mark to sell canned fish and related products similar to American Tuna’s goods. American Tuna has had common law trademark rights to the “Pole & Line“ mark since January 2014.

Aldi has “passed their products and services off in a manner calculated to deceive plaintiff’s customers and members of the general public,” according to the complaint.
“American Tuna is trying to protect its brand Pole & Line for its sustainably caught tuna fish,” said Lisel M. Ferguson, partner in the San Diego law firm representing the supplier, in a statement provided to SeafoodSource. “Aldi’s use of this brand on its canned fish was most likely unintentional. American Tuna is hopeful this matter will be resolved quickly and that Aldi will agree to change the name of its canned tuna fish.”

While American Tuna sent a cease and desist letter Aldi in June, Aldi said it would not stop using the “Pole & Line“ mark. Aldi declined to comment on the lawsuit to SeafoodSource.

American Tuna supplies sustainable canned albacore tuna to retail and foodservice buyers, as well as to the general public via its online store.


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