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Vegadelphia files lawsuit against Dunkin’, Beyond Meat for trademark violation on plant-based breakfast sandwich

VENTNOR CITY, NEW JERSEY - AUGUST 14: The view of a Dunkin' Donuts is seen as the state of New Jersey continues Stage 2 of re-opening following restrictions imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus on August 14, 2020 in Ventnor City, New Jersey. Stage 2, allows moderate-risk activities to resume which includes pools, youth day camps and certain sports practices. (Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

(PHILADELPHIA) — A Philadelphia-based vegan food company is accusing Dunkin’ and Beyond Meat of stealing its slogan.

The donut chain and the plant-based meat giant partnered a few years ago to create a vegan breakfast sandwich which was sold in Dunkin’ stores.

According to court documents obtained by ABC News from the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Vegadelphia claimed Dunkin Brands Inc and Beyond Meat Inc collectively “knew about this federally registered trademark on information and belief when they adopted the indistinguishable ‘great taste, plant-based’ slogan for a celebrity-laden national advertising campaign supporting their Beyond Sausage meat substitute menu item.”

Vegadelphia said in the complaint it has used its original slogan since 2013 and that the result of Dunkin’ and Beyond’s “illegal campaign” caused a “profitable shift of Dunkin’s marketplace positioning, expansion of its nationwide overall sales, increase in customer purchases per visit, growth of Beyond’s base of repeat customers, and improvement of Dunkin’s share price, greatly enhancing the goodwill of both companies.”

The breakfast sandwich in question, made with Beyond Meat products, launched in 2019 but other media outlets including Reuters, note that the chain dropped it from most of its store menus last year.

A representative for Dunkin’ told ABC News the brand does not comment on pending litigation. Beyond Meat did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

Vegadelphia also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The plant-based company, founded in 2004, sells its meat alternative beef and chicken products along the East Coast and at El Meson Sandwiches restaurants in Puerto Rico and Florida.

On top of the alleged slogan imitation, Vegadelphia claimed that advertisements for Dunkin’ “used placement and imagery in their branding” that it called “nearly identical” to its own. “The overlap in font style, stacked text, and even sunray background imagery, is beyond coincidence,” the complaint said in the court document.

According to the lawsuit, Beyond Meat applied for and was denied a trademark in 2020 almost identical to “great taste, plant-based” by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office based on a likely confusion with Vegadelphia’s trademark.

Vegadelphia asked the court to block Dunkin’ and Beyond Meat from using the slogan and requested an undisclosed amount of money damages.

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