Long Island-based 1-800-Flowers.com has countersued competitor Edible Arrangements International LLC, a Connecticut company that had accused 1- 800-Flowers.com in November of trademark infringement.
The countersuit, filed Friday by 1-800-Flowers in federal court in Connecticut, alleges "anticompetitive activities" by Edible Arrangements, including that it "has improperly claimed trademark rights in generic terms that competitors need to use to be able to compete effectively in the market," including terms like "edible" and "edible arrangements."
The suit claims those activities plus lawsuits and threats of lawsuits against competitors "have chilled competition and, unless enjoined, will continue to chill competition, by making it too burdensome and expensive for competitors to use generic terms or to make lawful fair use of terms that rightly belong in the public domain."
Carle Place-based 1-800-Flowers seeks unspecified damages.
Rob Price, president of Edible Arrangements International, in a statement Monday called the claims by 1-800-Flowers "ridiculous and an attempt to create distraction from its egregious, unlawful activities."
Wallingford, Connecticut-based Edible Arrangements in November sued 1-800-Flowers in the same court seeking more than $97 million in damages. It alleged that 1-800-Flowers' website FruitBouquets.com has hidden code and uses keyword advertising to intentionally lure Edible Arrangements' customers, creating a "likelihood of confusion and deception."
Edible Arrangements also claimed 1-800-Flowers has mimicked its trademarked bouquet-themed products and claimed that 1-800-Flowers "embarked on a campaign to intentionally imitate and infringe the marks and confuse consumers." 1-800-Flowers called the claims "baseless."
The countersuit is the latest punch in a legal fight begun in 2011 when 1-800-Flowers began offering fruit arrangements.