Why Skippy® Still Hates Peanut Butter
The Mammoth Unilever Corporation is resisting all legal efforts to stop its arrogant, unauthorized use of the SKIPPYTM name, made famous by Skippy’s creator Percy Crosby.
Until such time as justice is delivered, Unilever will remain in SKIPPY’S Hall of Shame for corrupt and fraudulent marketing.
The adage, “there’s no honor among thieves,” appears to apply to Unilever’s willful and blatant theft of the SKIPPY® name, goodwill and business from Skippy, Inc. to build its peanut butter empire. Unilever still claims to have “owned” the name since 1933.
So far, the evidence that this writer has seen indicates otherwise.
When Unilever announced on January 3, 2013, that it was selling its SKIPPY businesses in Little Rock, Arkansas and China to Hormel Foods for $700 Million dollars, Percy Crosby’s heirs, SKIPPY’S many fans and namesakes were not smiling and you can be assured, Skippy would not be happy.
Despite the fact that Skippy, Inc., repeatedly warned all comers that “SKIPPY®” is not for sale”, Unilever continued to ignore Skippy Inc’s. claim to prior, superior rights as owner-licensor of SKIPPY®.
Knowing that it had no marketable title to sell to Hormel, Unilever, in true “Selling the Brooklyn Bridge” style, did so anyway.
Unilever was aware that it would be risky to admit that Skippy, Inc. in 1933 sued their predecessor (Rosefield Packing Co., then bankrupt in California), and prevailed in 1934.
This was when the U.S. Patent Office prohibited the registration of SKIPPY peanut butter as a matter of statutory law.
[Skippy, Inc. v. Rosefield Packing Co., Ltd., Opposition No. 13,134].
That 1934 decision became final when Rosefield filed no answer or appeal, whereby Rosefield, aided and abetted by its corrupt Chicago counsel, conspired to ignore the decision and to steal by secretive means Percy Crosby’s legacy, and his family business.
The time line of the “History of SKIPPY” on Unilever’s web site (www.peanutbutter.com) is revealing by its major omissions.
There is no reference to the years of Skippy litigation history (1933 et seq,) or Percy Crosby’s illegal confinement in a New York State mental hospital in 1949. That confinement was essentially a life sentence with no benefit of due process. He died in confinement in1964, making it a virtual death sentence.
Rosefield et al., instrumental in Crosby’s confinement, was then free to build the SKIPPY® Peanut Butter empire with SKIPPY® profits. (Skippy is a Trademark of Skippy, Inc.)
According to the Skippy heirs, this is the true story that Unilever does not want the public to know.
On January 15, 2013, Skippy, Inc. filed a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department Antitrust Division, seeking an investigation of Unilever’s invalid SKIPPY title and sale to Hormel.
Skippy Inc’s. request was denied and no action was taken. It appears that was because Unilever and/or Hormel asked for “early termination” to avoid an investigation, which was granted on January 22, 2013.
Thus, once again Unilever succeeds in avoiding any Government scrutiny of its dark cloud on the title of SKIPPY, and its fraudulent marketing under Skippy’s trade name, mark and goodwill.
Skippy, Inc. has no intention of remaining silent while letting Unilever receive $700 Million in cash from Hormel, without making restitution to Skippy, Inc.
Our government of laws was never intended by Congress or the courts to allow a willful infringer to be unjustly enriched by its own misconduct. To do so is contrary to public policy, and should be seen as a clear-cut theft of valuable intellectual property.
As various supporting documents, including heavily redacted FOIA requests become available to me, I will publish them here.
Law and Justice should apply equally to all, including the now, nearly insolvent, Skippy, Inc. Family Business, and this promises to be a truly significant story when the names and titles of those involved bubble to the surface.
If you’re as sick and tired of huge corporations with deep pockets and legions of lawyers abusing our legal system for profit, at the expense of “ordinary folks” as I am, you’ll be following with as much interest as I do.
Adapted with permission from the Skippy, Inc. Web site at www.Skippy.com
SKIPPY® was, still is and should continue to be a Registered Trademark of Skippy, Inc.