Hershey’s candy company has recently gone forward with a lawsuit against Mars candy, claiming that Mars’ “peanut butter chocolate promise squares” are copying Hershey’s patented packaging with their orange, brown, and tan wrapping. Mars candy apparently used an orange background for the candy packaging, which has been trademarked for Hershey’s Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Reese’s pieces. Mars responded by filing a counter complaint against Hershey, claiming that “orange is commonly used by third parties on packaging as a generic flavor designation for peanuts, peanut butter or peanut butter flavoring.”
Hershey is the largest maker of chocolate candy in the United States, while Mars is second. The companies have clashed before, with Mars having sued Hershey in the past.
From a public relations perspective, one question that can be asked is whether or not Mars is really at fault, and whether the company is creating a bad public image for itself. I feel that by coming out with similar packaging to Hershey, Mars may be at risk of seeming somewhat deceptive and unoriginal to the public. I feel that the company should make efforts to avoid copying anything that is patented by its main competitor, and failure to do so shows a slight lack of integrity. Mars is already second to Hershey in the business of manufacturing chocolate, and therefore should be focusing on making their trademarks as unique as possible.