Hershey, Mars in packaging lawsuits

Posted by Josette Dunn on 6th December 2010

US chocolate maker Hershey has filed a lawsuit against confectionery rival Mars Inc, accusing it of copying Hershey’s packaging for its Dove Promise squares.

The lawsuit, filed in the federal district court of Pennsylvania last week, argues that Mars packaged its Dove peanut butter chocolate Promise squares in such a way that it mimics the patented orange, brown and tan wrappings of Reece’s peanut butter chocolate products.

Hershey said in the complaint that the use of the colours is an “attempt to trade on Hershey’s goodwill and to confuse consumers as to the origin, source or sponsorship of defendant’s product”. It is claiming trademark dilution and infringement, false designation of origin and unfair competition.

However, Mars has counter-sued Hershey in the federal district court of Virginia and said that “orange is commonly used by third parties on packaging as a generic flavor designation for peanuts, peanut butter or peanut butter flavouring”.

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