Two companies are selling “a copycat line of tortilla chips” — that’s what Frito-Lay North America Inc. alleges in a Feb. 10 complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District in Sherman. On Feb. 13 Frito-Lay filed a motion for temporary injunction. In its complaint, the Plano-based snack manufacturer names as defendants Newport, Ark.-based Medallion Foods Inc. and St. Louis, Mo.-based Ralcorp Holdings Inc. At issue: what Frito-Lay's complaint describes as bowl-shaped chips, which it markets under the name “Tostitos Scoops” and the defendants allegedly market under the name “Bowlz.” Frito-Lay alleges the following causes of action against the defendants in its complaint: trademark infringement, trade dress infringement, unfair competition and dilution, patent infringement, and unjust enrichment under Texas common law. The complaint features photographs of the plaintiff’s and the defendants’ chips, as well as the chips’ packaging. In the complaint, Frito-Lay alleges the defendants infringed four of its patents, which are related to the production of "Scoops." In its motion for a temporary injunction, Frito-Lay seeks relief from the alleged infringement but does not go into further detail, asking instead for an expedited status conference and discovery. Baker Botts partner Tim Durst of Dallas who represents Frito-Lay declines comment. Sabrina Prudhomme, the manager of communications at Medallion, says the company does not comment on pending ligation. Officials in the press office of Ralcorp did not return a call seeking comment. T. John Ward Jr. of Longview’s Ward & Smith Law Firm, who represents Ralcorp and Medallion, did not immediately return a call. Neither defendant has yet filed an answer in Frito-Lay North America, Inc., v. Medallion Foods, Inc. et al.
-- Miriam Rozen