Hershey Vs. Pot Dealer in Trademark Suit

The court, applying the standards of the dilution reform act, held that Haute Diggity Dog's parody of the Louis Vuitton name and symbol would not likely create consumer confusion between the products and that Chewy Vuiton would not ruin the reputation of Louis Vuitton's high-end products.

However, Feldman said she saw important differences between that case and Hershey's lawsuit because of the link to marijuana.

"If you compare that case to what would happen if the Hershey case came forward, what Hershey is going to say is this is very damaging because in our case there are all kinds of negative associations," Feldman said.

More Trouble Than It's Worth?

Van Houweling said Hershey's unusual lawsuit could actually end up increasing the public's association of the Hershey name with illegal drugs.

"It never probably would have been brought to my attention if it weren't for this lawsuit," she said. "If [Hershey is] really worried about the association in the public's mind about their name associated with these illicit products, it seems that the lawsuit has amplified that."

Feldman said the $100,000 Hershey is asking for is inconsequential compared to the company's wealth, and she said the case likely would not even make it to trial. But Hershey may want to send a message to other potential imitators, she said.

"Trademark holders have to police their mark," Feldman said. "If they don't, they're at risk of losing their mark in particular because it becomes generic. People work very hard to protect it. That's probably what's going on here."

And it won't hurt to get the candies in question off the market.

Crowne, of the American Intellectual Property Law Association, said Hershey "may have brought this action to ensure that the seized items are destroyed under court order."

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