Who's the real 'backyard bratwurst'? WI sausage companies settle lawsuit


A couple of Wisconsin sausage companies, battling over the use of the term "backyard brat," reached a settlement.

Klement Sausage Co. has held a trademark on the term "backyard bratwurst" since 2009, and had been using it with their product since the year before, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. The Johnsonville sausage brand later used "Backyard Grilled Brat" in its marketing and packaging – which Klement argued was infringing on their trademark.

Klement filed a suit in July, and by September Johnsonville had begun voluntarily phasing out its use of the term, Law360 wrote. In fact, Johnsonville said they planned to stop using it after they got a cease and desist from Klement way back in May – but couldn't get rid of packaging that had been shipped out to third-party retailers who bought the brats, the site says.

Either way, it's officially over now.

FOX 11 News reports the sides settled the lawsuit Tuesday – it means Johnsonville is barred from using the term "backyard brat" (and a few similar ones), and the company has destroyed all labels and signs and packing materials that used it.

Klement's Sausage started back in 1956, when the Klement brothers purchased a sausage company on Milwaukee's south side, the website says. It's now the city's largest producer of "fine, old fashion sausage products," the company says, and serves product at Miller Park (home of the Milwaukee Brewers, where it also sponsors the famous Racing Sausages).


Johnsonville is based in Sheboygan, and dates back to the 1940s when Ralph F. and Alice Stayer opened a butcher shop and named it after their hometown of Johnsonville, Wisconsin. The company says it's now the No. 1 brand of sausage in the world.

Next Up

Tanner Morgan/Gopher Football

Morgan's resurgence, Nebraska's miscues help Gophers hold on

The Gophers quarterback threw a pair of touchdowns in a 30-23 victory.

Tina Smith

Sen. Tina Smith warns Dems she may not vote for budget bill if climate plan dropped

This comes amid a White House effort to get its "Build Back Better" plan passed.

Pixabay - emergency room ambulance hospital

St. Paul man dies six days after crash on I-94

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner has identified the man as David Rodney Hardaway.

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

Double murder in northeastern Minnesota, suspect kills himself after chase

The suspect died at the scene from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

chaska school fight

Anti-masker involved in school board meeting fight charged with assault

It happened last month at an Eastern Carver County Schools hearing.

Marcus Foligno

Marcus Foligno throws hands, scores game-winning goal in Wild's opener

The Wild forward scored with 7.2 seconds left to beat Anaheim.

Screen Shot 2021-10-15 at 10.01.55 PM

Large police presence at Emagine Willow Creek movie theater in Plymouth

There are few details at this stage as to what has happened.

Maple Grove Police Department

Maple Grove-based businessman convicted of fatally shooting wife

Wiseman owns properties in both Minnesota, Nevada and China.

betty and earls biscuits facebook

Jason Matheson's biscuit shop to briefly close ahead of relaunch

Betty & Earl's will shut down for two weeks before reopening under a new name.

Simon Merino Go Fund Me

Worker dies in forklift accident at paper recycling business

The victim was described as a loving father of two who was devoted to his church.

rosie means - go fund me

Authorities ID woman killed by hit-and-run driver who ran red light

A fundraiser was created to support the family after the "sudden and senseless loss."

Prior Lake Football

Watch: Prior Lake stuns Rosemount with last-second hook and ladder

The Lakers dusted off an old favorite to get a victory on Thursday night.