So in this unusual case two firms sued each other though neither had been, is, or is likely to be harmed in the slightest by the other. The suit was rightly dismissed.
This is the last paragraph of this Seventh Circuit trademark opinion, written by Judge Posner.
Jack Hugunin began selling the fishing tackle he manufactured in the Land O’ Lakes region of Wisconsin in 1997. He decided to use LAND O LAKES as the trademark for his fishing tackle and received a registration from the USPTO in 2000.
Land O’ Lakes, the Minnesota dairy products company, started sponsoring the Wal-Mart FLW Tour and began advertising in fishing magazines in 1997. After Hugunin received his USPTO registration for LAND O LAKES for fishing tackle, Land O’ Lakes dairy company contacted Hugunin, informing him that his use infringed the dairy’s famous trademark and that Hugunin would need to get a license from the dairy to continue using the mark. Hugunin refused. The dairy then filed an opposition to Hugunin’s reapplication for his trademark, which had lapsed. Hugunin then sued the dairy in federal district court, claiming that his use of the mark has priority in the fishing industry and that the dairy’s involvement in the fishing industry created reverse confusion.