No Kisses from Hershey

Apparently Hershey has no sense of humor when it comes to its intellectual property. Art Van is holding a contest where viewers can vote for a new design on its trucks. One of the designs, seen below, has received a less than sweet response from Hershey.

Hershey claims this “unauthorized use of the Hershey’s trade dress is likely to cause confusion and mistake and to deceive the public.” Art Van, which has since changed the wrapper from brown to red, is surprised by the lawsuit. Art Van claims it was a parody, which is permitted by the fair use doctrine.

A parody is a transformative work; one that recalls the original work and then comments on it. Using my yarn spinning legal skills, I would say this is conveying the message that the delivery of a new sofa is a sweet treat, much like a candy bar. Yummy.

Update: A judge ruled in favor of Hershey, holding Art Van’s use as diluting Hershey’s trade dress.

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