Oreo maker takes Indian biscuit giant to court over alleged lookalike cookies

Intercontinental Great Brands claims the design of Parle’s recently launched Fabio biscuit is ‘deceptively’ similar to that of its globally popular cookie.

Fabio does bear a resemblance to Oreos, being two dark biscuits sandwiching a white cream filling. Taking it a step further, Fabio biscuits are also stamped with a filigreed design, while both cookies sport blue and white branding.

Parle Products launched Fabio biscuits in January 2020 in two flavours (Vanilla and Chocolate Cream), while Oreo was launched in India by Mondelēz in 2011.

Oreo – introduced in 1912 by Nabisco, which later became Mondelēz International – is touted to be the largest selling premium cookie brand in the world, hitting $3.1bn in sales in 2019. Mondelēz says India is among Oreo’s top-five markets by volume and the fourth largest market for the cookie brand in the world.

The court has fixed 12 April for the next hearing, despite US-based Intercontinental Great Brands requesting an earlier date.

Parle Products and Intercontinental Brands have declined to comment on the ongoing issue.

Biscuit battles

Patent infringement cases are not new to India’s biscuit industry. In February 2020, Britannia Industries filed a suit against Future Consumer alleging its use of ‘Good Time’ on the packaging of its biscuit was very close to Britannia’s ‘Good Day’ branding.

In December 2020, Britannia also filed a suit against ITC’s Sunfeast Veda Digestive and Sunfeast 5-Seed Digestive biscuits, which it alleged were deceptively similar to its own Nutri Choice Hi-Fibre and Nutri Choice Digestive packaging.

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