A Hardys brand of fast food and ice cream is being sued over a slogan in which a mascot sings “Ding, Dug, Dong” as the mascot dances around a bag of chips.
The trademark infringement complaint filed by attorney Matt Fieger, who is representing Hardys in the case, says the “Dug, Dug” mascot appeared in an advertisement for Hardys’ Dingo ice cream in 2014.
The trademark is registered to the Hardys Group, a company founded by founder Darryl Hardys.
Fieger alleges that the ad is disparaging of the brand and its brand image, calling the mascot “Dingo.”
The trademark registration was filed in April 2016 and expires in May 2021, according to the complaint.
In response to the trademark complaint, Hardys said in a statement to News24 the “dong” is “a popular and common phrase that is an important part of our mascot’s voice and personality.”
In a separate lawsuit filed in July 2018, the Hardy’s Group alleged that it was duped by the trademark office into selling the “panda” trademark, which it later sold to a Chinese company.
In the latest case, Hardy said in its statement to news24 that it is considering a response to Fiegers lawsuit, but it was unclear what action would be taken.
“The Hardys Company is disappointed by the filing of this lawsuit and would like to respectfully decline the request for a settlement, which we believe is an overreach of the federal trademark law,” the company said.