MrBeast’s Feastables brand sells chocolate and peanut butter-flavored candy bars called Deez Nutz.
According to the lawsuit, Dee’s Nuts (as the plaintiff identifies themselves in the suit) was founded by Brian Ditore, who registered the trademark “Dee’s Nuts” on September 25, 2012.
“Plaintiff has consistently used the DEE’S NUTS Mark in commerce for the sale of gourmet flavored peanuts for over a decade,” the lawsuit alleges.
In that time, according to the complaint, the company became a “market leader in selling processed nuts,” raking in millions of dollars annually.
Diotre chose the name, the lawsuit explains, in honor of his grandmother Adeline D’amore, who was known as “Mrs. Dee.”
“Her laughter and belief that life should not be taken too seriously inspired … [Ditore] to select a trademark that paid homage to her and her comedic flair,” the lawsuit says. “Hence, DEE’S NUTS was created.”
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has a record for Dee’s Nuts filed by Biran Ditore on June 15, 2011.
The lawsuit, filed on Aug. 25 and highlighted by Court Watch, claims that Dee’s Nuts has an established brand identity thanks to marketing efforts undertaken by the company. In 2016, the lawsuit claims, the Dee’s Nuts logo was attached to an RV as part of a “grassroots marketing” campaign. The RV went on tour across the United States, including stops at the National Peanut Festival, the NASCAR Championship race, and the Cowboy Christmas Show in Las Vegas, among many other venues.
In 2017, the lawsuit alleges, the trademark was updated. The same year, according to the lawsuit, Dee’s Nuts began selling in retail locations like Bed Bath & Beyond and ABC Fine Wine & Spirit. In 2022, the lawsuit says, a deal was arranged with Walmart to sell the product at Walmart.
All told, the lawsuit alleges that Dee’s Nuts spent a total of $600,000 on direct marketing to build up the brand and that expected sales for 2023 are between $4,000,000 and $5,000,000.
MrBeast launched the Deez Nutz bar publicly in February in a viral video on X.
Dee’s Nuts sent Feastables a cease and desist letter after the video launched and received a response from the company in April saying that it would keep using the mark.
According to the lawsuit, since Feastables launched its product, Dee’s Nuts has been contacted online by fans accusing them of infringing MrBeast’s copyright.
A user named “Noah” left a Google review for Dee’s Nuts in December 2022, before the Feastables product launched. Noah gave the company five stars and commented “N u t.”
Because the Noah user had a MrBeast logo as his profile picture, the lawsuit alleges that he is a business associate of MrBeast, whose real name is James Stephen Donaldson.
Dee’s Nuts also says that Walmart started carrying their products in June 2023, but that a search for “deesnuts” in Walmart’s online search tool only returns hits for the Feastables Deez Nutz bar. It alleges that the infringement caused its brand irreparable injury by creating sustained customer confusion between the two.
A representative for MrBeast didn’t respond to a question about whether MrBeast was aware of Dee’s Nuts before the launch of his own product.
Dee’s Nuts is asking for damages from Feastables after a full accounting is done of the company’s profits earned from the alleged infringement, as well as legal fees.
We crawl the web so you don’t have to.
Sign up for the Daily Dot newsletter to get the best and worst of the internet in your inbox every day.
*First Published: Sep 1, 2023, 12:01 pm CDT