Campaign Signs Temporarily Banned for Infringing on Hershey Trademark

by T+B Blog Team on July 31, 2014

Maryland State Senator Stephen S. Hershey, Jr. was temporarily banned from using his campaign materials because their design is similar to that of The Hershey Company’s famous chocolate, TheBaltimore Sun reports.

Both the senator’s signs and the chocolate company’s logo feature a brown background with white capital letters. Because of the strong resemblance to each other, the chocolatier filed a lawsuit against Senator Hershey. Though the senator’s attorneys argued that no one could confuse a senator with a chocolate bar, U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles’ ruling came down on the side of Hershey chocolate. The Baltimore Sun quoted Quarles as saying, “… a member of the public could easily — and mistakenly — believe that Senator Hershey is in some way affiliated with Hershey.”

This isn’t the first time The Hershey Company has gone up against the senator. The Hershey Company’s lawsuit states that Hershey used campaign materials echoing the chocolate company’s design when he was running for county commissioner in 2002. After the company contacted Hershey and asked him to cease use of the materials, he did — for a while. In 2010, when he ran for state delegate, he used the signs as part of his campaign again. After The Hershey Company took further legal action, the candidate promised to no longer use the brown and white colors and the block font in his campaign materials.

The ban will remain in place until the case is concluded, according to The Baltimore Sun.

What do you think?

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