Rounds Bakery of Reno, NV, says that it recently received a C&D notice from Ansel’s lawyers, telling it to stop selling its donut/croissant product as a “cronut.” Problem is, the folks at Rounds say they have never employed that trademarked term.
The owner of Rounds explains to the Reno Gazette-Journal that his bakery was aware of the trademark and that it “has been very diligent about not using the term Cronut. We refer to our product as a croissant donut in all our communications.”
He tells KOLO-TV that he can’t control how customers or others describe the pastries he sells.
“[T]he problem is everybody refers to them as cronuts and we can’t be responsible for what customers choose to call it,” says the owner.
The letter insists that Rounds “cease and desist with the use of the term ‘Cronut’ and any similar and substantially confusing derivation thereof in describing your food items.”
One could make the argument that calling his version a “croissant donut” is similar to the term “cronut,” but I’d contend that it’s not Rounds’ fault that Ansel’s trademarked term is so close to the actual words any layperson would use to describe the item. If I trademark “RubHose” as a brand of rubber hose, I don’t see how I could tell someone to stop selling a generic “rubber hose.”
Rounds has taken the offensive in this battle, mocking the C&D notice on Twitter with the hashtag #notacronut