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 DENVER, Sept. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Pumpkin Ltd., the originator of the Carve-O-Lantern(R) Pumpkin Carving Kit, filed suit today against Kraft General Foods Inc. and Kraft General Foods Canada Inc. in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. The suit alleges that the "pumpkin carving kit" being distributed by Kraft as a Halloween candy promotion in Canada unlawfully copies Pumpkin Ltd.'s carving instructions, tips, patterns and contest, infringes Pumpkin Ltd.'s trade dress and trademark, and constitutes unfair competition.
 "When I saw so much of my hard work in someone else's product, I felt like someone had punched me," said Kea Bardeen, president of Pumpkin Ltd. "I felt even worse knowing we had previously approached Kraft, proposing that our companies cooperate on exactly this kind of promotion. I do not look forward to this litigation, but given the resources and distribution channels Kraft has, I feel Pumpkin Ltd.'s very survival is at stake."
 Kraft's product contains pumpkin patterns but does not include tools. Kraft's instructions state that its patterns can be carved with a serrated knife or a jigsaw blade (the blade apparently to be held in the user's fingers). "I am concerned," said Bardeen, "that consumers' potential difficulties with Kraft's 'pumpkin carving kit' may undermine all our efforts to show that carving is easy and fun with our Pumpkin Carving Kit."
 Pumpkin Ltd. is seeking a permanent injunction prohibiting Kraft from producing and distributing its promotional product. The suit also asks for monetary damages.
 -- Pumpkin Ltd. is a family owned, Colorado corporation that
 manufactures a line of patented Pumpkin Carving Kits.
 -- Pumpkin Ltd.'s unique pumpkin carving methods is the result of a
 safety engineer's desire to develop an easier, more satisfying
 way for his children to carve pumpkins. Paul Bardeen created
 this carving technique 50 years ago in Racine, Wis.
 -- When Paul Bardeen died in 1983, as a tribute to their father,
 John Bardeen and his sisters decided to share his master carving
 technique with other families. They wanted to "change the way
 America carves pumpkins."
 -- John Bardeen incorporated Pumpkin Ltd. in 1986. John's wife,
 Kea, stepped in as president in 1987.
 -- Nationwide sales began in 1987. That year, Pumpkin Ltd. sold
 89,000 pumpkin carving kits. This year, Pumpkin Ltd. has
 already sold over one million kits with projected revenues over
 $3 million.
 -- Pumpkin Ltd.'s carving products are sold in the United States
 and Canada through mass merchandisers, craft, grocery and drug
 stores, as well as mail order catalogs. Pumpkin Ltd.'s products
 are manufactured entirely within the United States.
 -- Pumpkin Ltd. moved from the owner's home to an office building
 in 1992. The company currently employs 7 full-time and 3 part-
 time employees.
 -- In addition to exposure through local media, many national
 television programs featured Pumpkin Ltd. and its pumpkins.
 Some include "CBS This Morning," "NBC Nightly News with Tom
 Brokaw," "Tonight Show with Johnny Carson," "ABC Monday Night
 Football," "Entertainment Tonight," "Roseanne," and "Home
 Improvement." Pumpkin Ltd. also supplied 11 freeze-dried
 pumpkins for Disney's feature film, "Hocus Pocus."
 -- Pumpkin Ltd. is active with the local community. Every year the
 company provides carved pumpkins for the Children's Museum of
 Denver and sponsors a pumpkin art display and contest at the
 Norwest Bank Atrium in downtown Denver. This year will be the
 fifth year for both events.
 -- Pumpkin Ltd. plans to begin doing business as Pumpkin
 Masters(TM) in 1994.
 -0- 9/28/93
 /CONTACT: Kea Bardeen or Gay Burke of Pumpkin Ltd., 303-722-4442/

CO: Pumpkin Ltd. ST: Colorado IN: SU:

MC -- DV003 -- 6398 09/28/93 13:05 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 28, 1993

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