Small store takes big poke at Gallo Wineries

Small store takes big poke at Gallo Wineries

SEATTLE -- There's a food fight brewing between a wine industry giant and a small specialty shop in Seattle.

The Spanish Table sits near Pike Place Market, and it's up against Ernest & Julios Gallo Winery.

At the root of the dispute? A rooster.

The Gallo brothers trademarked their famous rooster. And the wine giant says the Spanish-label Gallo Pasta -- 'Gallo' spelled the same as the wine -- is trademark infringement.

"It's silly," says Marilyn Young with the Spanish Table. "It's somebody's last name but also a rooster. Can we eliminate the noun from the Spanish vocabulary, the Spanish language? You can't do that."

So the Spanish Table publically poked Gallo with a huge ad in Monday's edition of the Seattle Times -- sharing the settlement offer Gallo made.

It warned the shop to stop buying and selling the fiedo pasta and by all means, don't reveal the confidential offer, which was that they would be allowed to sell the four cases they had on hand -- and only those four cases -- provided they give Gallo the place where they bought the pasta from.

Gallo has vigorously protected its trademark and stopped others from using the name on a wide variety of goods including: cheese, rice, shoes, shirts, caps, tote bags, jeans, jackets, peppers, olive oil, dishes, toys, race horses, playing cards, cigars, socks and scarves.

A Gallo spokesperson said the company is trying to do its best to negotiate an agreement that meets everyone's needs.

But a wine shop owner says Gallo's tussle over the trademark leaves an ugly taste in his mouth.

"Nobody's gonna confuse it with Gallo wines and don't even say Gallo on their wines anymore," said Michael Teer with the Pike & Western Wine Shop. "They're selling other brands like Turning Leaf, and Frei Brothers -- not even promoting themselves as Gallo half the time."

And did you know the Gallo pasta brand has been around 50 years longer than the wine?

"People are buying it out of spite just to support the little guy," Young said.

This is one little guy who isn't ready to roll over for a rooster.

After a cease and desist order in the 1990s, Gallo pasta greed to stop selling its Gallo product in the United States, but that's apparently changed.