Candy Trademarks-How sweet it is to be loved by USPTO

Halloween is just around the corner. I’m considering buying candy for both trick-or-treaters and myself. Shhh. Don’t tell my dentist. Many know that candy brands and logos can be trademarked, but most don’t realize that candy shapes can as well.

A shape (such as the candy examples below) would be registered as ‘Trade Dress.” Similar to other types of trademarks, trade dress can be registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and receive protection from the federal courts.

To receive protection, both of the following must be true:

  • The trade dress must be inherently distinctive, unless it has acquired secondary meaning.
  • The junior use must cause a likelihood of consumer confusion.

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/what-trade-dress.html

Protecting product shapes for various products like other IP issues, has caused some argument. Many believe that one should not be able to protect the shape of an item or should automatically allow others to utilize it. See these examples regarding Hershey’s chocolate bar segments:

http://www.core77.com/posts/22929/for-one-company-product-shape-trademark-protection-victory-is-sweet-22929

And this dispute over the kitkat bar shape. Nestle and Cadbury both asked the court to “give me a break”-get it?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/02/nestle-lawsuit_n_2395583.html

 

Here are some examples of trademarks of shapes for candies that we know and love and links to their USPTO information.

 

Skittles

skittle.png

http://tsdr.uspto.gov/#caseNumber=76010416&caseType=SERIAL_NO&searchType=statusSearch

Jewel Shape of Ring Pop

ringpop.png

http://tsdr.uspto.gov/#caseNumber=74332122&caseType=SERIAL_NO&searchType=statusSearch

This interesting article explains that even though the Topps Company, the makers of Ring Pops had two patents expire and they were able to still keep their ring pops going.

https://www.lexisnexis.com/legalnewsroom/intellectual-property/b/patent-law-blog/archive/2011/06/07/ring-pops-maybe-a-really-fun-way-to-teach-your-kids-about-false-patent-marking.aspx?Redirected=true

Pez Candy Brick

pez.png

http://tsdr.uspto.gov/#caseNumber=77345777&caseType=SERIAL_NO&searchType=statusSearch

Tootsie Roll’s Twisted Wrapper

tootsieroll.png

http://tsdr.uspto.gov/#caseNumber=73687928&caseType=SERIAL_NO&searchType=statusSearch

Twizzlers

twizzler.png

http://tsdr.uspto.gov/#caseNumber=75206688&caseType=SERIAL_NO&searchType=statusSearch

Hershey Kisses

kiss

http://tsdr.uspto.gov/#caseNumber=78501278&caseType=SERIAL_NO&searchType=statusSearch

Tootsie Pop

tootsiepop.png

http://tsdr.uspto.gov/#caseNumber=75565044&caseType=SERIAL_NO&searchType=statusSearch

Ok now I want candy! Yes, plenty of candy of various types!

From trade mark dress applications like the ones mentioned above to design and utility patents, Mohr IP Law offers bins of delicious opportunities. And, because we prefer to give treats than tricks we would love to offer you a no-cost 30-minute attorney consultation. Contact us today!

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s