Hershey's iconic chocolate bar has spawned plenty of imitators, many of whom mimic the bar's shape, with its rows of bite-size, interconnected rectangles. Hershey claims to own the basic motif, though -- four rows of three rectangles-- and is seeking an injunction to block the retailer from selling its pan version.
Find out why Hershey's is fired up after the jump.
According to the Huffington Post, the chocolate bar has been under copyright for more than forty years, and apparently the company takes its intellectual property protection very seriously. The company has accused Williams-Sonoma of creating a product that "embodies and mimics" its candy bar.
No one would really confuse a pan of brownies with a chocolate bar. That's not really the point, though, according to what the suit alleges. Law.com reports Hershey's complaint: The pan "is likely to cause consumers, purchasers and others to be confused or mistaken into believing that WSI's infringing products originate with, are sponsored or approved by, emanate from, or are otherwise associated with, Hershey or the source of Hershey's brand chocolate bars."
In other words, it's all about trademark dilution. And Hershey's claims it already has evidence of "actual confusion" on the part of consumers who thought they might be able to make "their own little Hershey's miniatures," according to the Law.com article. The suit has been filed in Harrisburg, PA, and copyright law buffs will surely be watching closely.