f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n: A Sweet Lawsuit: Hershey's Sues Simon & Schuster

f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

A Sweet Lawsuit: Hershey's Sues Simon & Schuster

Candy-manufacturing giant Hershey is suing the publisher Simon & Schuster for trademark infringement because of this book cover: Hershey: Milton S. Hershey's Extraordinary Life of Wealth, Empire and Utopian Dreams.

Simon & Schuster's response: "Trademark laws are designed to protect the public from likelihood of confusion, not to protect the monopolistic goals of a company that — for whatever reason — appears not to like the fact that a book has been published about its founder without its imprimatur."

I sometimes wonder if corporations pursue these things merely for publicity purposes. The book, according to reviews, is an extremely positive biography of Milton Hershey...a rarity for a captain of industry. That should only help the company. Nobody will buy it accidentally thinking it's a chocolate bar. If anything the cover art is going to make people want to buy a real chocolate bar. That said...it's a pretty clear case of trademark violation and Simon & Schuster seems to be overstating the case in using terms like "monopolistic goals."