Hershey Drops Lawsuit Claiming Mars Infringed Reese’s Candy Trademarks

Hershey Co. (HSY), the maker of Reese’s candies, dropped a lawsuit against Mars Inc. in which it claimed Mars’s packaging for its Dove peanut butter and chocolate bars infringed trademarks for Reese’s.

Hershey and Mars agreed to “dismiss with prejudice all claims asserted in this action,” according to a filing yesterday in federal court in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. No details were given for the dismissal.

Hershey sued in November, claiming that Mars used an orange background for its Dove candies that had been trademarked for Reese’s Peanut Butter cups and Reese’s Pieces. The use of the color would “confuse consumers” about the source of the product, Hershey claimed.

Jeff Beckman, a spokesman for Hershey, Pennsylvania-based Hershey, and Lauren Nodzak, a spokeswoman for McLean, Virginia- based Mars, didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment.

Mars filed an action against Hershey in federal court in Virginia in November seeking a ruling that it wasn’t infringing Hershey’s trademarks. That action is also dismissed.

Hershey fell 6 cents to $55.08 at 12:31 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The stock has risen 17 percent this year. Mars’s shares don’t trade publicly.

The Hershey case is The Hershey Co. v. Mars Inc., 10-02417, U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania (Harrisburg). The Mars case is Mars Inc. v. The Hershey Co., 10-01325, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria).

To contact the reporter on this story: Don Jeffrey in New York at djeffrey1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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