Saks barks legal threat at pet firm Snaks 5th Avenchew

Reuters

By Laila Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Saks Fifth Avenue has a bone to pick with Snaks 5th Avenchew, an online pet treat company whose name has raised the New York department store chain's ire. But so far, the doggie snack purveyor is sticking to its puns.

Saks, owned by Hudson's Bay Co, sent a cease and desist letter to the website late last month demanding that it change its name by the end of Wednesday, according to its proprietor, Carrie Sarabella. It claims the moniker infringes on the Saks Fifth Avenue brand.

But Sarabella said its business as usual for Snaks 5th Avenchew - name and all. "As of now, I'm standing my ground," said the 32-year-old New York native who lives in Hoboken, New Jersey.

Sarabella said she hadn't heard back from representatives of Saks about whether they would pursue legal action against her for keeping her company name.

Saks declined to comment on its name-change demands, and a spokeswoman for the law firm representing Saks in the case did not immediately respond to calls for comment on Thursday.

Sarabella launched her online store in April to market a line of treats that she first created for her own pooch, an American Cocker Spaniel named "Pinero," who suffers from food allergies.

The snacks, packaged as human foods including cupcakes, donut holes and potato chips, use high-end hypoallergenic ingredients for dogs with sensitivities, Sarabella said.

Sarabella, who grew up shopping at Saks, said using a parody name, as others had done with pet-oriented brands like Chewy Vuitton and Bloomingtails, seemed fitting for her company.

"I knew that Saks was able to offer me the best of what I was looking for, and I wanted to do the same thing with pets," she said. "It was almost as if I was honoring and complimenting what they always gave to me, but unfortunately they don't feel the same way."

(Reporting by Laila Kearney; editing by Andrew Hay)

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