Kaye Scholer Secures Preliminary Injunction Against Maryland State Senator's Copying of Hershey's Trade Dress

July 17, 2014

On July 17, 2014, the United States District Court for the District of Maryland issued a preliminary injunction in favor of the firm’s longtime client The Hershey Company against the use by Maryland State Senator Steve Hershey and his campaign committee of a design for campaign signs and other materials that closely resembles the iconic Hershey’s trade dress, including the word HERSHEY in white block type on a dark brown background.

On June 6, 2014, Hershey sued the defendants for trademark infringement, dilution and other related claims, including breach of a 2010 agreement to cease infringing Hershey’s trade dress, and later moved for a preliminary injunction. After oral argument took place on July 16, 2014, our motion was granted by the court the next day.

Finding that the Hershey trade dress is a strong mark that has been used for over 100 years, the court rejected the defendant’s claim that the First Amendment immunized his conduct, agreed with Hershey that the slight differences in defendant’s logo did not detract from the similarity of the two designs, and found that members of the public “could easily—and mistakenly—believe that Senator Hershey is in some way affiliated with Hershey.”  The court agreed that the potential loss of control of Hershey’s reputation constituted irreparable harm, and, accordingly, it preliminarily enjoined Senator Hershey from using the challenged design or any other design that imitates the Hershey trade dress, ordering that he remove all infringing trade dress and signs within five days.

The Kaye Scholer team representing Hershey includes Partner Paul Llewellyn, Counsel Richard De Sevo and Associates Jeremy White and James Lyons. 

Email Disclaimer