Frito-Lay Loses $4.5 Million Lawsuit Over Bowl-Shaped Tortilla Chips

Frito-Lay sued Ralcorp Holdings, parent company of Medallion Foods, in February 2012, saying Ralcorp’s Bowlz Corn Chips were too similar to Frito-Lay’s Tostitos Scoops! chips. Both chips are formed into small bowl shapes, allowing for easier scooping of salsas and dips.

The lawsuit claimed that Medallion Foods’ “bowl-shaped tortilla chips and accompanying package are an apparent intentional effort to imitate the famous, successful mark and packaging of Frito-Lay’s Tostitos Scoops! tortilla chips,” according to court documents.

Frito-Lay asked the U.S. District Court in Dallas to order Ralcorp to stop making the chips and pay $4.5 million, but a jury sided with Ralcorp. Frito-Lay said in a statement it was “disappointed in the ruling” and was weighing its legal options.

Ralcorp had responded to the lawsuit by saying they used a different manufacturing process and therefore made a better chip at a lower cost. A spokesman for Frito-Lay countered this argument by pointing to the “tens of millions of Americans” that consume Tostitos Scoops!.

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