Kringle controversy: O&H Danish Bakery files lawsuit over another kringle company’s name

RACINE COUNTY -- O&H Danish Bakery in Racine is suing another kringle maker in southeast Wisconsin, accusing Wisconsin Kringle Company of violating the trademark of one of its signature kringles, the Wisconsin Kringle.

According to lawsuit which was filed in Racine County Circuit Court on Tuesday, Feb. 20, O&H Danish Bakery has been making kringle and distributing those pastries since 1949. More recently, O&H created its "Wisconsin Kringle" in 2013 in response to the state designating the kringle as the "Official State Pastry of Wisconsin." The Wisconsin Kringle includes flavors like cheese, cherries and cranberries -- and it was being sold at retail locations known as "The Dish." It had become one of O&H's best sellers -- and been awarded "Best in Show" by the Wisconsin Bakers Association.

The lawsuit alleges in September 2017, O&H became aware that Val Secor, the former manager at "The Dish," had gone into the kringle business utilizing the name "Wisconsin Kringle Company." The suit indicates Secor was "trying to capitalize on the efforts O&H has undertaken to promote its 'Wisconsin Kringle' brand by appropriating the trade name 'Wisconsin Kringle' as part of his company name."

O&H in the lawsuit indicates the use of the "Wisconsin Kringle Company" by a kringle manufacturer has caused "damage to O&H as a result of confusion in the market, loss of sales, dilution of the value of its trademarked name, loss of effectiveness of advertising and promotional efforts."

O&H noted that it registered on Nov. 30, 2017 with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions the trade name "Wisconsin Kringle" "officially designating its long  used pastry flavor as a trade name subject to protection under Wisconsin law." That trademark was granted on Dec. 6, 2017.

O&H in the lawsuit wants the court to do the following:

  • Stop Wisconsin Kringle Company's use of a name substantially identical to the trade name used by O&H Danish Bakery
  • Award O&H Danish Bakery damages
  • Award O&H Danish Bakery its costs, fees, expenses from this lawsuit