Candy Makers Spar over Packaging
Hershey Company has reportedly sued Mars for trademark infringement in
a Pennsylvania federal court, alleging that colors used in the packaging for
Mars’s Dove peanut-butter milk-chocolate Promises® candy is too similar to
what Hershey uses for its Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups®. Mars apparently filed
a preemptive suit just days earlier in a Virginia federal court, asking to dismiss
the Hershey complaint.
Mars reportedly contends that Hershey admits it does not have exclusive rights to package peanut-butter candies in orange wrappers and that orange is commonly used in the industry as an indicator of peanut-butter flavor. According to a news source, Hershey sent a cease-and desist letter to Mars in November 2010, stating, “It can come as no surprise to Mars that Hershey, having objected to the color of the individual Dove peanut butter chocolate wrappers and filed a counterclaim to obtain a change of that color, would have a serious problem with Mars’ revising the outer package to add orange as a substantial background color.” See FoodNavigator-USA.com, November 30, 2010.