Artesano Bread vs Artisan Bread

Interesting pending civil action in Grupo Bimbo v. Hirshfeld (E.D.Va. 2021).

The Mexican company Grupo Bimbo makes more bread than any other company — including Wonder Bread and Sara Lee brands in the USA.  Bimbo is attempting to register a mark for its “ARTESANO” line of bread — after apparently selling more than $1 billion in pre-packaged sliced bread product.

The PTO found that “Artisan Bread” is a generic term, and that consumers will translate the Spanish word “ARTESANO” to its English equivalent when purchasing.

In this appeal, the resemblance between ARTESANO and the word “Artisan” is so evident in both sound and appearance that the average American consumer will automatically translate ARTESANO and equate ARTESANO and the word “artisan.”

Bimbo has now filed a civil action under 15 U.S.C. 1071(b) seeking a declaration from the District Court that its mark is not generic but instead is distinctive.

Bimbo Complaint.

11 thoughts on “Artesano Bread vs Artisan Bread

  1. 3

    So a foreign language word translated from an English language generic term is not distinctive? Interesting case. Pretty bold statement from the TM office that the average American consumer will “automatically translate” the foreign word.

    1. 3.1

      By way of Google in 0.42 seconds:

      Declaración bastante audaz de la oficina de TM de que el consumidor estadounidense promedio “traducirá automáticamente” la palabra extranjera.

      Hmm, maybe NOT so bold…

  2. 2

    One wonders why counsel approved either “Artesano” as a TM or “Bimbo” as a corporate name before their widespread use?

        1. 2.1.1.1

          This part of the link you provided was exactly my first thought:

          The issue is a common one, he said, as companies expand into new markets. Chevrolet confronted the issue when it introduced the Nova into Latin American markets,…

          There were more than a few wags who dubbed the car, no va, or no go, in Spanish,…

          1. 2.1.1.1.1

            Purely from memory, Chevrolet was very much able to overcome the issue (if it was truly a real issue to begin with). My parents owned a Nova in Puerto Rico and I remember it being a very common (popular) car there.

            1. 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Thanks for the Boots on the Ground view.

              Perhaps it is important to remember that for all the modern day mode of virtue signaling, it is still known in marketing that “s e x sells.”

              Perhaps the attribution is not only purposeful (with a wink and a nod), but part of the reason why the company is so successful.

              I wouldn’t sleep on that – if you know what I mean

              link to youtu.be

              1. 2.1.1.1.1.1.1

                I doubt in 1945 (the year the company was named) the founders had any idea what bimbo meant in English or even that the company one day would enter the English-speaking market.

  3. 1

    In case it’s not clear from the wording of the first sentence, Bimbo owns Wonder and Sara Lee.

    1. 1.1

      The Mexican company Grupo Bimbo

      (including Wonder Bread and Sara Lee brands in the USA)

      makes more bread than any other company.

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