On April 15th I posted an entry on how to protect your product design using trademark law. Last month, it was reported that Hershey had filed a trademark infringement claim against Williams-Sonoma alleging that the latter company had violated its trademark rights by copying the design of its chocolate bar by creating a brownie pan comprising twelve rectangles. Hershey also asserted that Williams-Sonoma had “embodied and mimicked” its registered trademark by packaging its pan in a manner intended to make it look like a Hershey bar. The federally registered Hershey trademark is the subject of U.S. Trademark Registration #3,668,662 and is depicted below. Hershey followed up this registration by filing an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, #77809223, which is still pending, for the same design with the word Hershey’s omitted from it.

So you can protect your product design by means of a trademark registration.

And you can use that registration as a weapon to go after copycats.

And if you develop a distinctive product design, it may be worth conducting a clearance search of the Patent Office’s trademark records before you market it in order to make sure no one created that design first.


The material on this website is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered legal advice and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. If you have questions regarding any material presented herein, we recommend that you consult an attorney. This web site and information presented herein were designed in accordance with Illinois law. Any content in conflict with the laws or ethical code of attorney conduct of any other jurisdiction is unintentional and void. I am a Chicago attorney practicing in the areas of trademark, copyright and information technology law as well as general corporate law. Formerly a trademark examining attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, I have been in private practice since 1987 representing clients in a wide variety of industries, including the consumer products, financial services, information technology and entertainment industries. You can contact me at, by phone at 773.934.5855 or by mail at 417 S. Jefferson St., #304, Chicago, IL 60607 USA
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