News
Lawsuit

Mars sues Hershey for trademark infringement over MALTESER brand

Hershey’s Malteser brand is too similar to Mars’ Maltesers.

April 23, 2014
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+

Hershey vs Mars

Mars Inc. has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against The Hershey Co. claiming that Hershey’s Malteser brand is too similar to Mars’ Maltesers.

“This lawsuit is without merit,” Hershey says. “The Hershey Co. has owned the MALTESER trademark in the United States for more than 15 years. We intend to vigorously defend against this groundless litigation.”

As for Mars, the company says only, "“Mars can confirm that we have filed a complaint that seeks to protect our Maltesers brand trademark.”

In the complaint, the chocolate maker offers more detail. Mars says, “By its recent copying, Hershey has tricked customers in the United States into buying fake Malteser candy instead of real Mars' Maltesers candy. Hershey's conduct is irreparably injuring and hampering Mars' ability to sell Maltesers candy in the United States.”

According to an article in Law 360:

“Hershey acquired the “Malteser” trademark, without a plural “s,” in 1998 from a Dutch company that had received it from the original registrant, Leaf Corp., which attained the mark nearly 30 years after Mars had begun selling Maltesers throughout the world, according to the suit. Mars sued and eventually settled with Leaf in 1994.

“From then on, Hershey has maintained the mark only for the purposes of pushing Mars' Maltesers out of the market in favor of Whoppers, engaging in little or only perfunctory use of the mark in violation of the Lanham Act, according to the complaint.”

In the complaint, Mars says the trademark infringement became too big of an issue to ignore in 2010, when Hershey released Malteser packaging that looked really similar Mars’ Maltesers packaging.

“The suit even provides the court with several angry comments from customers claiming they purchased what they thought were Maltesers on the Internet, only to learn they were deceived into buying the Hershey candy,” Law 360 reports.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Candy Industry

Recent Articles by Crystal Lindell

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

A Venetian Carnival, a Jelly Belly sculpture and gourmet chocolates! Oh my!

Candy Industry takes you into the French Pastry’s School For the Love of Chocolate event in Chicago, held Feb. 25.

Candy Industry Magazine

July 2014 Cover

July 2014

July's issue features an in-depth look at the Brazilian confectionery industry, a review of Interpack, and some more highlights from the Sweets & Snacks Expo.
Table Of Contents Subscribe

Confectionary Sales

Are you noticing an increase in confectionery sales that would led you to believe the economy is finally coming back?
View Results Poll Archive

Candy Industry Store

M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\Candy Industry\natural-food-flavors-colora.gif
Natural Food Flavors and Colorants

Although many foods are appealing, and even perceived as natural, in spite of containing synthetic additives, consumer increasingly prefer food products which are fully natural.

More Products

Candy Industry's Kettle Awards

Kettle Awards

Since 1946, Candy Industry magazine has recognized leaders in the U.S. confectionery industry with the highest recognition possible, the Kettle Award. The distinguished recipients have captured this most coveted award by not only excelling within their companies, but by contributing to the greater good of the industry. It’s virtually a who’s who of past and present professionals who have left their mark as confectioners and business mavens. Learn more about the voting process as well as the annual Kettle Awards Ceremony by visiting our Kettle Awards Website

Clear Seas Research

Clear SeasWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

STAY CONNECTED

fb40   twitter 40    youtube40    linked   Google+