Citation: Kraft Foods Holdings, Inc. v. Helm a/k/a “King Velveeda”, 205 F.Supp.2d 942 (N.D. Ill. 2002) (full-text).
Factual Background Edit
Plaintiff, the manufacturer of VELVEETA brand cheese products and owner of the federally registered mark VELVEETA, sued defendant for trademark infringement and dilution. Defendant, who refers to himself as “King Velveeda,” used Velveeda as a metatag on his website at “cheesygraphics.com” and used the site name “King Velveeda” on “www.courtofporn.com,” a site defendant built and for which he supplied content. Both sites featured adult content, and defendant’s site also depicted drug use and paraphernalia.
Trial Court Proceedings Edit
The court granted plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction and enjoined defendant from using the “Velveeda” moniker in any “commercial” manner or activity. The court also ordered defendant to remove Velveeda from all metatags, metanames, or keywords on his websites or any sites on which he is authorized to post or rate web pages.
The court found that defendant’s use of “Velveeda” in conjunction with graphic sexuality and nudity likely tarnishes plaintiff’s mark. The court dismissed defendant’s commercial speech and parody defenses on the grounds that the noncommercial elements of his site were not inextricably bound to the commercial parts, and that he admitted that his site was not a parody.
The court also dismissed defendant’s laches defense. Even though defendant asserted he had been using the name “King Velveeda” for 17 years, he could not prove that plaintiff had knowledge of his use of the mark.
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