Minnesota Court Rules Against Dairy Queen in Lawsuit Over ‘Blizzard’ Name

Dairy Queen will have to let W.B. Mason Co sell their bottled water called “Blizzard” as a Minnesota federal judge ruled against the ice cream company’s lawsuit. 

The court found that Dairy Queen lacked evidence – customers were not confused by the Blizzards, and W.B Mason did not intend to do so in their product labeling practices. 

Dairy Queen is one of the most recognized brands in America, thanks to their delicious and refreshing Blizzard ice cream. The company started using this name for its product line back in 1946

Though recognizing that W.B. Mason, which has two Blizzard trademarks, is not a direct competitor, Dairy Queen stated that customers might be confused due to its US restaurants selling bottled water. 

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However, the judge stated that the products had “very different audience appeal” and have both existed for 11 years even with proof that Dairy Queen’s Blizzard had reached “iconic” status – with estimated US sales of $1.1 billion in 2020. 

“Dairy Queen introduced no evidence of an actual association between the two products,” Nelson said in a statement. “If association were to occur, in all likelihood, it would have occurred by now.” 

Last fall, after 12 days of non-jury hearing with 30 witnesses, the judge issued a verdict. The decision is dated June 10, but it was made private for one week, with the lawsuit beginning in March 2018.

Dairy Queen stated that it was dismayed and assessing whether to appeal and would “vigorously enforce our rights when necessary” to safeguard the franchisees. 

In a statement, a Nixon Peabody partner representing W.B. Mason, Jason Kravitz, described the decision as “a supremely satisfying and hard-fought win.” 

Blizzard (Dairy Queen’s) offers various soft serve ice cream flavors with mix-ins like fruit, nuts and M&Ms.

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