Along with a new milkshake flavor at the Pennsylvania Farm Show (salted caramel milkshake), a trademark dispute is still churning over the famous Farm Show Milkshakes.
The three-way legal battle involves dairymen, the state, and a subcontractor who all claim the “Farm Show Milkshake” as their product. Because fundraising dollars are at play, the primary conflict is who can benefit from the state’s agricultural event.
The Dairymen’s Association has sold milkshakes at the Pennsylvania Farm Show since 1953, and the item is one of the top-selling beverages at the food court. Through milkshake sales, the association raises funds to support scholarships, educational events, the Dairy Princess program, Calving Corner, and the Fill a Glass with Hope campaign.
Meanwhile, RC Herr’s fundraisers have raised over $500,000 for booster clubs, nonprofits, and other groups, donating 20 percent of the proceeds to the hosting organization.
Lancaster Farming reported that the initial infringement on the group’s trademark for the milkshakes was questioned in a lawsuit filed on June 6 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania by the Dairymen’s Association.
The association claims it had a licensing agreement with RC Herr from 2017 to 2021 to sell milkshakes outside the Farm Show at football games and festivals. However, the association alleges that RC Herr has continued to sell the milkshakes as “Farm Show Milkshakes” and promote the products, trademarking the name and logo.
However, a third party came into play after the Pennsylvania Ag Department intervened in the suit this past summer, claiming they owned the rights to the “Farm Show” name.
Parties in the suit claim that the branding conflict stands to confuse customers, potentially cutting into fundraising efforts.
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