May 22, 2007
Hershey Fights to Protect Brand Name Trademarks
There’s a buzz on the blogosphere today about Hershey’s recent litigation against a fellow on his way to jail for selling marijuana-laced candy.
Seems as if this person made the mistake of not only selling an illegal product, he also violated Hershey’s trademarked names, offering the world product names like “Stoney Rancher,” “Rasta Reese’s” and “Keef Kat.”
These are direct trademark violations of Hershey’s Jolly Rancher, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Kit Kat brand names.
Bottom line? He’s looking at a $100,000 fine on top of five years in the slammer for selling dope.
Seth Godin happens to have a great post up about trademarks today that discusses many important subjects relating to developing brand names and trademarks, including the danger of your brand name becoming generic, or what Seth’s associate calls “genericide.”
Godin points out that the best possible thing you can invent is “an idea that needs a name,” or something that is totally new and nameless (think Jeep, iPod).
But then again, a reader on Slashdot yesterday reported that Linux, certainly a unique sounding name for a totally unique product, shares its name with 204 other products, including a Swiss laundry detergent.
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