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.

Filed Under: chocolate, couch, furniture, logo, moron in a hurry, trademark
Companies: hershey

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  1. identicon
    Mark Regan, 1 Nov 2008 @ 8:25pm


    Thank God for judicial intervention -- I was just going to eat that couch.

    Seriously, I had thought Hershey had abandoned that wrapper design when they switched their process to all plastic that you need a pair of scissors to open. When I called them up and told them of my difficulty in opening the tough plastic, they told me it saved them millions of dollars a year in expenses, and insinuated they didn't need my business, so I canceled my standing weekly order for a 24 count box from my local retail outlet each week.

    Maybe I ought to sue Hershey for interfering with my RIGHT to open their chocolate bar easily using the design they claim they still have the rights to, but have actually abandoned, unless some furniture company wants to unload a few couches.

    Hershey USED to be a good company with a good product. Now they are a BAD company with a good product.

    Apple, are you listening?

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