Hershey Sues Over Book Cover Image

Posted on December 20, 2005

The Associated Press reports that The Hershey Company is suing for an injunction against Simon and Schuster to stop the publisher from using the image of a giant Hershey bar on the cover of a new book called Hershey: Milton S. Hershey's Extraordinary Life of Wealth, Empire and Utopian Dreams, which will be released in January, 2006.
Hershey spokeswoman Stephanie Moritz said Monday the company is concerned that consumers may think it's "authorized, sponsored or approved" the book. It wants to prevent Simon & Schuster from distributing the dust jacket.

"Hershey does not object to the content of defendant's book, or to the mere use of the word 'Hershey' in the title of the book," according to the lawsuit that was made public Monday. "However, defendant has designed and adopted a dust jacket for the book which extensively uses Hershey's well-known marks and trade dress beyond any manner permissible under law." The jacket also depicts a Hershey's Kiss, a subtitle in a font similar to the paper wrapper inside a Kiss, and two older Hershey advertising images.

Simon & Schuster filed a document Monday opposing Hershey's request for an injunction and restraining order, saying the Hershey symbols on the cover are "artistically relevant" to the book's subject and not expressly misleading.

"Trademark laws are designed to protect the public from likelihood of confusion, not to protect the monopolistic goals of a company that for whatever reason appears not to like the fact that a book has been published about its founder without its imprimatur," the publisher said.
It's an interesting case that publishers will be watching closely, because of its potential impact on future book covers. Hershey might want to reconsider its objections, though. Just looking at that cover makes us want to buy a Hershey bar and some holiday Hershey's kisses for stocking stuffers.