North American Olive Oil Assoc. v. Kangadis Food

Intellectual Property

New York Law Journal


Judge Jed Rakoff

The North American Olive Oil Association (NAOOA) claimed Kangadis Food's "Capatriti" product was marketed as "100% Pure Olive Oil" despite containing Pomace, which is processed from olive pits, skins, and pulp. Since March 2013 Capatriti contains only "olive oil." However, the "olive oil" used to fill tins of "100% Pure Olive Oil" is refined olive oil, not virgin olive oil. The court barred Kangadis from selling Pomace-containing products as "100% Pure Olive Oil," and required any such product to be so labelled before sale. The court declined to enjoin Kangadis from selling 100 percent refined olive oil as "100% Pure Olive Oil." A reasonable ordinary consumer could plausibly interpret "100% Pure Olive Oil" to refer simply to a product containing only olive oil. Despite state, federal and industry standards distinguishing between "olive oil" or "pure olive oil" and "refined olive oil," NAOOA did not show likely success on its claim that it is unlawful to sell 100 percent refined olive oil as "100% Pure Olive Oil." NAOOA's harm if consumers are not notified that Capatriti packaged before March 2013 contains Pomace can be addressed by requiring Kangadis to distribute appropriate stickers to be affixed to unsold Capatriti containing Pomace.

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