Softbelly sold SCREENIE BEANIES, bean bag toys with chamois bellies to be used in wiping a computer screens.
Softbelly’s objects to the judge’s having permitted Ty
to present evidence of “Beanie” products that Ty marketed
after “Screenie Beanies” entered the market. Obviously
those products could not be used to show that the “Beanie
Babies” trademark was in use before “Screenie Beanies”
was, but they could be used as evidence of the likelihood
that consumers would be confused about the source of
“Screenie Beanies.” Carnival Brand Seafood Co. v. Carnival
Brands, Inc., 187 F.3d 1307, 1311 n. 4 (11th Cir. 1999). The
greater the variety of products to which “Beanies” or
“Beanie Babies” is attached, the likelier it is that consumers
would assume that a new “Beanie” product that closely
resembled “Beanie Babies” was also made by Ty.
And may therefore be the reason plaintiff choose to enter that particular new area at that particular time.
Ty v Softbelly (7th Cir Feb 2 2008). Also, interesting discussion of witness tampering by Ty. Also litigation that BEANIE is generic for bean-bag plush toys is left for another day.