NEW YORK — Imitation may be the the sincerest form of flattery, but it also may be the source of legal action. Case in point: Snack bar maker Kind L.L.C. has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan seeking to prevent Clif Bar & Co., Emeryville, Calif., from marketing and selling its Mojo branded snack bar in updated packaging that Kind alleges comes too close to mimicking its products.

Specifically, Kind said the Mojo product’s new packaging copies several elements of Kind’s packaging, including the rectangular, transparent window on the front panel, the horizontal stripe along the front of the packaging, two vertical color stripes at both ends of the package, and a bulleted list of health attributes related to the product.

Sincerest form of flattery?

“Rather than innovating as Kind has done, Clif is poised to launch the Mojo bars in packaging that abandons the traditional look and feel of the Clif and Mojo brands and instead co-opts the look of Kind,” the company said in a statement. “As stated in the lawsuit, the new Mojo trade dress reflects a new and dramatic leap over the line in what appears to have been a calculated progression of incremental changes, designed each time to get closer and closer to the trade dress of Kind bars and farther and farther from the package design elements that would associate the product with the Clif brand.”

Justin Mervis, Kind’s vice-president and general counsel, said, “Kind will vigorously defend its hard earned goodwill and brand value against anyone that seeks unfairly to dilute or detract from the Kind brand.

Packaging of Clif’s line of Mojo bars has evolved over time, according to Kind.

“Kind is committed to preventing the harm to consumers and retailers that will result if the Mojo line is launched in confusingly similar packaging. Consumers stand to be misled by the deceptive packaging of the new Mojo bars, and retailers will suffer if sales of the top-selling Kind brand are cannibalized by an infringing product.”

Clif Bar & Co. did not respond to a request for comment regarding the lawsuit.