Whole Foods Rejected in Bid for ‘World's Healthiest’ Trademark
Whole Foods Market may be full of healthy stuff, but it can't trademark "world's healthiest." The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected Whole Foods’ bid for a trademark on "World's Healthiest Grocery Store," calling it "merely descriptive." That's the same reason the office used years ago in rejecting a previous application by Whole Foods for "America's Healthiest Grocery Store," a decision later overturned, allowing the grocer to use that mark. Whole Foods had applied to update the trademark after it expanded beyond the U.S. into Canada and the U.K.
Total Retail's Take: It's not surprising that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office refused to allow Whole Foods to trademark this phrase. Routinely, the Patent and Trademark Office frowns on “self-laudatory” and “puffing” trademark applications. For example, the patent office also rejected an attempt many years ago by Boston Beer Co. to trademark “The Best Beer in America,” because it was “merely laudatory and descriptive of applicant’s beer and ale being of superior quality.”
Melissa Campanelli is Editor-in-Chief of Total Retail. She is an industry veteran, having covered all aspects of retail, tech, digital, e-commerce, and marketing over the past 20 years. Melissa is also the co-founder of the Women in Retail Leadership Circle.