James Beard Foundation Files Complaint Over “Good Food for Good People”

Law Street Media reports

On Monday, the James Beard Foundation, Inc. filed a complaint in the Southern District of New York against Epic-Cure, Inc. alleging trademark infringement. 

According to the complaint, the James Beard Foundation is a not-for-profit and the nation’s leading organization dedicated to the culinary arts and advocacy related to the food industry. The plaintiff, per court documents, is the owner of the federally registered trademark “Good Food For Good.”

The plaintiff alleges that the mark, “Good Food for Good,” is at the core of the Foundation’s identity and charitable work to support a food world that is equitable and sustainable. Further, the Foundation states that the mark is not only used in connection with its charitable efforts, it is also prominently displayed on its website and the top of each of its various social media pages.

The complaint states that Epic-Cure is a not-for-profit founded with the purpose of distributing rescued food and eliminating food waste. Further, the complaint alleges that in September 2020, Epic-Cure began using the trademark “Good Food for Good People” and on September 20, 2020, it filed an application with the USPTO to register the trademark.

The plaintiff argues that the defendant’s trademark is confusingly similar to and infringes on the Foundation’s federally registered trademark. Accordingly, the complaint purports that on October 30, 2020, the Foundation sent the defendant a cease and desist letter requesting they withdraw their application to register “Good Food for Good People.” The complaint states that, despite numerous communications between the parties, Epic-Cure refused to cease using the trademark and on September 7, 2021, the Foundation filed an opposition motion to the USPTO to oppose the registration of “Good Food for Good People.”

The Foundation argues that it has tried to resolve the matter amicably for more than 18 months through the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board’s proceedings to avoid federal litigation, but the defendant has continuously filed frivolous pleadings and motions, which have been rejected by the Board, to delay the resolution. The Foundation states that due to these actions, it has been left with no choice but to initiate the present action.

Consequently, the Foundation alleges that Epic-Cure is in violation of the Lanham Act for trademark infringement and false designation of origin and New York’s General Business law, and it seeks declaratory and injunctive relief. The plaintiff is represented by Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.