Can A Moron In A Hurry Tell The Difference Between A Hershey Bar And A Couch?

from the yummy-cushions... dept

There are some legal decisions that just make no sense. Gunnar writes in to let us know of a story in Michigan, where a judge has ordered a furniture store to stop using a design that shows a couch being unwrapped from a candy bar. Hershey's sued the furniture company, claiming it violated their trademark on unwrapping chocolate bars:
Art Van
But here's the thing: even the judge admits that trademark law shouldn't apply here because it's a totally different business and there's little chance of customer confusion: "While both parties cater to the general public, there is no indication that their customers are predominantly the same. Even if their customer bases overlap to some extent ... the risk of consumers confusing a furniture outlet with a candy store, or vice versa, appears remote." Those are all things a judge says right before denying the trademark claim, but in this case, it went the other way. If a moron in a hurry isn't likely to be confused, then there's no trademark infringement. The furniture store wasn't even using the image yet -- but just had it in a contest for truck designs. At least the company hadn't spent too much money painting up all the trucks.

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  1. identicon
    Elvis Oswald, 1 Nov 2008 @ 6:58am

    Corporate Rule

    The purpose of protecting trademarks is to stop someone from representing their product as another product... or to stop someone from doing damage to a brand by misrepresenting the brand in such a way as to cause a loss.
    Obviously, the furniture store is not trying to fool people into thinking a couch is a candy bar... and they are not harming the brand - unless seeing that makes you think Hershey is making candy out of furniture (and that makes you not buy hershey bars)

    For the fascist defending the ruling - compare this to an 83 year old woman with 3rd degree burns on her genitals caused by coffee served by a corporation who had already received complaints about and paid for injuries caused by their coffee that was waaay too hot.
    Funny how people will defend a faceless corporation against their own grandmother.


    Fu

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