The Hershey Company has sued a Maryland state senator over his campaign logo, which Hershey’s says looks too much like the chocolate company’s famous candy bar.
Senator Stephen Hershey’s campaign signs have his last name printed in big block letters in a font that looks almost identical to the one used on the actual candy wrapper. The words are printed on a dark and light brown background, as opposed to a solid dark brown background.
Here is the company’s logo next to Senator Hershey’s campaign poster:
Hershey’s argues in its filing that, “It is apparent that the overall resulting design is a confusingly similar knockoff of, and unlawful colorable imitation of, the famous and iconic Hershey Trade Dress,” according to a report by the Baltimore Sun.
This is not the first time Senator Hershey has turned to the chocolate company for campaign inspiration.
For his 2010 campaign, the senator’s sign featured his last name in white block letters with the words “State Delegate” underneath where the chocolate bar says “milk chocolate.” The text was printed on a plain brown background, making this 2010 sign look almost identical to chocolate company’s logo.
In response to the allegations, Senator Hershey argued that the typeface he used was a “common font” and says he placed the font over a brown Maryland state flag, according to the Baltimore Sun. In a statement, Senator Hershey denied the allegations and said that Hershey’s chocolate is taking away from his first amendment rights by challenging his campaign poster.
“The Hershey Company’s allegations raise serious questions about infringing on my constitutional rights of freedom of speech, freedom of association, and participation as a candidate in the political process,” Stephen Hershey said.
We have reached out to Hershey Corporation as well and have not yet heard back.
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