No need to be chicken about copying in poultry feeder case

CTB, Inc. v. Hog Slat, Inc., 2018 WL 4035945, No. 14-CV-157-FL (E.D.N.C. Aug. 22, 2018)CTB sued HS for making an allegedly exact replica of CTB’s poultry feeder, infringing its registered trademarks for product configuration and color (color on the supplemental register).  The parties' feeders, side by sidePan feeders are the industry standard. The usual configuration: a pan (bottom portion in which feed collects), grill (top portion, usually made up of spokes of varying number, size, and shape), and center cone (feed distribution mechanism). Feeders are sold to roughly forty “integrators,” who own the chickens and dictate which feeders individual growers may use.  Also of relevance, CTB also had a patent for a poultry feeder, which expired in 2010. The patent said it was aimed at providing a “barrier for preventing birds and animals from bodily climbing into the feeder yet simultaneously allowing those that do force their way inside…

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