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Unformatted text preview: he had when it rained. I n the 1 990s, he and his wife and business
partner, Sara, once had to mortgage their house and sell off inv estments to make their
company ’s pay roll.
But it still came as a bit of a shock when the Wilsons made what they thought was a routine
mov e to register the trademark of their hot product — a flat pretzel snack called Pretzel Crisps
— and it was contested by none other than Frito- Lay , the 800- pound gorilla of the snack food
market owned by PepsiCo.
“T his is so different from any thing else we’v e faced because we’re not fighting a product in the
supermarket, we’re not fighting against an institution like a bank, we’re not dealing with an act
of nature,” Mr. Wilson said in an interv iew at his company ’s headquarters here. “T his fight is
about a big company that wants to dominate the snack food category by crushing a little
company like ours rather than by competing with us.”
Frito- Lay , whose Rold Gold pretzel products and Stacy ’s Pita Chips compete with Pretzel
Crisps, declined to discuss the case, citing the pending dispute with the Wilsons’ company ,
But in its filings with the Patent and T rademark Office, Frito- Lay contends that Pretzel Crisps
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- Fall '14