Mars, the company behind some of the world's most recognisable chocolate brands, has started legal proceedings against a small Wisconsin based Chocolate Company, CococVaa.
Syovata Edari is the owner of the small chocolate company known as CocoVaa. She decided to start her own decadent confectionery company in 2015 and has been trading ever since. However, it has recently came to light that she is now facing legal action from chocolate giant Mars. It is rather ironic that Ms Edari has found herself in this position, being a criminal defence lawyer, Ms Edari is usually helping others defend their legal rights.
Mars are the parent company to many subsidiaries, one of their subsidiaries, CocoaVia, is a scientific division dedicated to researching the health benefits of cocoa and producing healthy products with cocoa. It has recently came to light that they are suing Ms Edari's decadent chocolate company after claiming that her company name, CocoVaa, is likely to "confuse and deceive" consumers into believing the two companies are related.
Mars have commented that Ms Edari is infringing their trade mark as her brand name is similar in its "appearance, sound, meaning, and commercial impression" and will no doubt deceive consumers into believing that the two companies are related or that Mars has endorsed Ms Edari's brand.
Mars subsequently wrote to Ms Edari to explain that she was infringing their CocoaVia Mark and informed her to stop using it. Ms Edari however failed to do so and has since expanded her business and products throughout the US.
Ms Edari has responded to the allegations by informing the press that she chose the name for her chocolate company based on the nickname her father used to call her when she was young, this being 'Vaa'. Ms Edari's lawyers have argued that the two products are completely different to one another in the way that they are packaged and sold. They claim that where Ms Edari makes decadent chocolates, CocoaVia makes health supplements and so the products are so different that no confusion could occur.
Mars however are still trying to get CocoVaa to stop using the mark on any cocoa based food and drink products and in addition claim damages. It will be interesting to see whose arguments win out in this dispute.in: EU/International, Trade Marks