Klein & Wilson

Chocolate legal war between Hershey and Cadbury

Chocolate enthusiasts and store owners are up in arms over the recent news regarding Hershey and Cadbury. California candy stores that sell Cadbury and Hershey chocolate products may notice the taste and packaging for snack items going through a transitional stage, especially after discovering the results of Hershey's lawsuit.

Although the United Kingdom's version of Cadbury Creme Eggs was changed after remaining consistent for several decades, Hershey's chose to keep their products the same. That motto for consistency may have led to their current lawsuit against LBB Imports. According to reports, Hershey's is accusing the British candy company of packaging its British Toffee Crisp candy in wrappers that resemble candy wrappers for Reese's Peanut Butter Cups made by Hershey's. The company is also accusing England's Yorkie chocolate bars of being too close to Hershey's York Peppermint Patties. In addition to similar candy wrappers and names, Hershey claims to hold exclusive rights to produce the Creme Eggs recipe for American consumers. It wants the original British variety banned in the United States.

Although opinions are mixed from customers and store owners about whose chocolate snacks are better, Kraft Foods and Mondelez International have already made the decision to stop using Cadbury dairy milk in their Creme Egg recipe. A spokesperson for Hershey's confirmed that LBB has stopped importing British Cadbury products. It is uncertain whether that will be a temporary or a permanent decision.

Companies looking to protect their intellectual property must present proper evidence in order to have a successful claim. This could include oral and written proof that similar names of products are leading customers to believe they are purchasing the original manufacturer's product. Other examples include similar physical packaging characteristics of items sold online or in stores.

Source: FOX News, "Hershey banning British company from importing similar chocolates," Jan. 23, 2015

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