CARMEL, Ind. (March 28, 2016) – Two Indiana companies are squaring off in court over the name of a four-sided donut.
Square Donuts, based out of Terre Haute, has made square donuts since the 1960's and trademarked the term three years ago.
Family Express, based out of Valparaiso, started making square donuts about ten years ago and said in a lawsuit the term is too generic to be trademarked.
"I would have to agree," a square-donut eater Louie Berwanger said. "I think putting a patent on the name is kind of unnecessary for something so generic.”
However, others disagree and say the letter of the law needs to be followed.
“If it is patented, the courts need to respect the patent," square-donut eater Robert Bischoff said. "There’s a reason that company paid for that patent and if that is truly a legitimate patent, it ought to be upheld."
Both Berwanger and Bischoff agree the whole idea of this donut debate is somewhat silly.
“It’s hard to believe (a lawsuit) over a donut," Bischoff said. "I mean you would think that everybody would be able to produce a donut at will.”
“I love donuts," Berwanger said. "I think that putting all this bureaucracy in the donut business is just unhealthy for donuts.”
The case now sits before a federal judge who will have to decide if both companies can keep selling square donuts.