May 10, 2023

“Food on Foot” design is being defended in court


Mantinga” is facing an extraordinary situation and is currently defending the design of one of its brands, “Food on Foot”, in court.

In 2019, after a market analysis and a year-long preparation, “Mantinga” created the brand “Food on Foot” for the sandwich line. In the same year, this brand and the packaging design of its products were registered in the State Patent Office of the Republic of Lithuania. Since then, the company has continuously invested time and money in increasing the awareness of this brand, within a few years it has become known throughout Lithuania – from local shops in small towns to shopping centers and gas station customers.

In March of this year “Fresh Walk” sandwiches produced by a direct competitor – “Margiris” appeared on the market, which are packed in packages of an updated design. The visual solutions of these packages are based on the same composition principle, have similar graphic elements as “Food on Foot”, therefore the whole of these packages have signs of imitation that can mislead the consumer. In addition, selling products in similar packaging violates the rights of “Food on Foot” as the owner of the registered design, and such actions are considered unfair competition.

“We have been in the food production business for 25 years. We pay special attention to each of our products – from the recipe, the selection of ingredients, the elaboration of taste characteristics to the appearance, presentation and creation of an exclusive packaging design. We introduced the “Food on Foot” sandwich line in 2019, and we have come a long way before that – we conducted a consumer survey, analyzed which criteria are most important to consumers, together with a creative agency we searched for design elements that best reflect the needs of consumers and reveal the advantages of our products, we registered the brand and its design in the official register, we invested in brand awareness every year. All of these actions allow us to achieve the quality, uniqueness and recognizability of each product, so when we noticed on the market the updated packaging of products of the same category of direct competitors imitating our design, we had to take action,” says Jūratė Survilienė, Marketing Manager of “Mantinga”.

She notices that such actions go beyond fair competition, good business practices, attempts to take advantage of “Mantinga” achievements. This also directly affects customers – sandwiches are a product of daily consumption, it is likely that the consumer is not very observant when choosing these products and similar packaging can confuse the consumer. This threatens “Mantinga” reputation as a manufacturer – consumers associate “Food on Foot” products with high quality and certain taste characteristics, after buying a competitor’s product, the consumer may not meet their expectations and be disappointed, and after associating the tasted product with “Mantinga” products in the future, our products may no longer be chosen.

In view of this, “Mantinga” appealed to “Margiris” with a claim and a request to remove the packaging imitating products marked with the “Food on Foot” brand from the market as soon as possible. After not receiving an appropriate reaction, “Mantinga” appealed to the court.