HideTechdirt is off for the long weekend! We'll be back with our regular posts tomorrow.
HideTechdirt is off for the long weekend! We'll be back with our regular posts tomorrow.

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.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    CSIN, 1 Nov 2008 @ 6:57pm

    Lawyers Lawyers Everywhere, but not a gun in site...

    I think it's funny to see these people coming on here and debating the article as if it where the actual case judgment being carried out online.

    The sofa was wrapped like a candy bar. Not like a Hershey's Bar. There are many brands that use the same style wrapping. And the "Brown" color is used on many different brands. The wrapper on Dove bars uses a foil wrapper with a brown paper outside as well, should they sue?

    The idea that this is an okay lawsuit because of dilution is asinine. Anyone that thinks copyright or patent lawsuits are for anything other then name brand protection are dilusional. Get a life and stop trying to act like a lawyer. (And if you are one... Step into traffic.)

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.