Hershey settles ‘Tough Cookie’ trademark dispute with California cookie maker



Cookie maker said Hershey protein bars infringe trademark


Companies settle case under undisclosed terms

By Blake Brittain

(Reuters) – Hershey Co has settled a lawsuit brought by a California cookie company over Hershey’s alleged misuse of the company’s “Tough Cookie” trademark on protein bars, according to a Tuesday court filing.

Hershey and The Cookie Department Inc agreed to dismiss the case with prejudice, which means it cannot be refiled. Details of the settlement were not immediately available, and representatives for the companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The Cookie Department, based in Berkeley, makes cookies with unique ingredients like protein, caffeine and probiotics. Its “Tough Cookie” is made with white chocolate, almonds and added protein.

The company sued Hershey in Northern California federal court in 2020. It said Hershey’s “Tough Cookies Only” tagline for cookie-dough flavored ONE protein bars would cause consumer confusion with its own protein-packed cookie.

Hershey denied the allegations and raised several defenses, including that The Cookie Department made false statements to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in its trademark application.

The companies first told the court in November that they had resolved the dispute.

The Cookie Department filed a separate complaint in 2021 to head off Hershey’s “retaliatory threat” of a lawsuit alleging that chocolate-chip teardrop imagery used on its packaging violates Hershey’s Kisses trademark rights. The Cookie Department dropped the lawsuit later that year.

The case is Cookie Department Inc v. Hershey Co, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, No. 4:20-cv-09324.

For TCD: Sanjiv Singh; Michael Indrajana of Indrajana Law Group

For Hershey: Keyonn Pope, Monique Howery and Steve Hankins of Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila

Read more:

Hershey sued by California cookie maker in Hershey’s Kisses dispute

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