Danone has launched a multi-million euro action against Glanbia in Dublin, claiming that the Irish company's use of the name Yoplait Essence for a new range of probiotic yoghurts contravenes its trademark.
The six products are said to boost immunity, disgestive or bone health, lower cholesterol and blood pressure or help with weight loss.
Danone says the Essence branding is likely to be confused with Bifidus Essensis, the pseudo-scientific name used to promote its Activia probiotic yoghurt. It wants Glanbia to change the name and is seeking damages of €10m but Glanbia says it will "vigorously contest" the claims in the High Court.
It argues that not only are the brand names not the same, but that Danone has not used the Bifidus Essenis tag in its Irish promotions for two years.
The battle highlights the growing importance of functional foods in this market.