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posted by cmn32480 on Thursday June 09 2016, @08:07AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the supporting-the-home-team dept.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-36484245

A Swedish court has ruled that the confectionery firm Mars can no longer advertise its M&M's brand with the lower case lettering - m&m. The court ruled that the logo is too similar to the single lower case "m" used by the Swedish chocolate covered peanut brand Marabou.

If Mars doesn't appeal it will have to use the capital M&M logo in Sweden starting in July. Mars said it believed "no confusion exists" between the two chocolates.


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  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 09 2016, @08:14AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 09 2016, @08:14AM (#357225)

    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmchocolatecoveredniggers

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 09 2016, @10:35AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 09 2016, @10:35AM (#357249)

      lowercase n for nigger

      n&n's come from murica land of the niggers

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 09 2016, @08:52AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 09 2016, @08:52AM (#357229)

    ...today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Sweden forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 09 2016, @09:12AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 09 2016, @09:12AM (#357232)

      Great Ronnie's Ghost!

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 09 2016, @09:49AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 09 2016, @09:49AM (#357239)

    Linux isn't Swedish.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 09 2016, @11:02AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 09 2016, @11:02AM (#357258)

      If Sweden hadn't lost the war of 1809 vs Russia it would (or could still have been) ...

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 09 2016, @02:47PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 09 2016, @02:47PM (#357332)

        9,000 Swedes ran through the grass
        At the Battle of Copenhagen.
        9.000 Swedes ran through the grass
        Chased by one sick Norwegian.

  • (Score: 1) by anubi on Thursday June 09 2016, @10:09AM

    by anubi (2828) on Thursday June 09 2016, @10:09AM (#357241) Journal

    See for yourself. [blogspot.com]

    My own take is this looks more like a McDonalds logo than a m&m's logo. m&m's don't use the same font, even if its the same case. Really nitty here, but if I were judging it, I would have let this one go.. not similar enough.

    But I would insist that m&m be printed on each piece as they always had.... I would consider it a violation if both m's and ampersand were not placed as per historical use of that mark. While Marabou keeps the single m with the tail.

    IANAL, but that's how I would have seen it.

    I see this as nothing more than lawyers milking the system for a fee.

    --
    "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
    • (Score: 0, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 09 2016, @10:14AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 09 2016, @10:14AM (#357243)

      IANAL, but that's how I would have seen it.

      You are correct, and your opinion is therefore irrelephant.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 09 2016, @02:27PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 09 2016, @02:27PM (#357322)

        oh, come on! don't be so giraffelous!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 09 2016, @02:24PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 09 2016, @02:24PM (#357319)

      > IANAL

      There's nothing wrong with that, but this probably isn't the place to discuss your sex life.

  • (Score: 4, Funny) by inertnet on Thursday June 09 2016, @10:19AM

    by inertnet (4071) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 09 2016, @10:19AM (#357244)

    It must have been a lower case court.

    Anyway, I'd print ®&® on them from now on.

  • (Score: 2) by GreatAuntAnesthesia on Thursday June 09 2016, @10:42AM

    by GreatAuntAnesthesia (3275) on Thursday June 09 2016, @10:42AM (#357250) Journal

    Is it just me or does it feel like there are more pressing matters in the world right now than frigging chocolate companies squabbling over upper and lower case characters? Don't the courts have more important things to do?

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 09 2016, @12:48PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 09 2016, @12:48PM (#357277)

      Trademark courts probably don't "have more important things to do".

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by GreatAuntAnesthesia on Thursday June 09 2016, @01:13PM

        by GreatAuntAnesthesia (3275) on Thursday June 09 2016, @01:13PM (#357285) Journal

        Point taken, but I still can't help but think the court could spend all day scratching it collective arse and discussing sports and it would still be more important than arbitrating juvenile corporate squabbling over a fucking typeface.

      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by OrugTor on Thursday June 09 2016, @01:20PM

        by OrugTor (5147) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 09 2016, @01:20PM (#357288)

        A trademark court doesn't have anything important to do, by definition. In an ideal world civil matters would be handled by arbitration panels staffed by people who understand the relevant laws and the domain but do not have a lawyer attitude. We get much quicker outcomes, fairer resolutions because the panels specialise in their domains and not least, lower cost. Given that corporations listen to lawyers and end up pitting "M" against "m" there should be a far superior method of resolution.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Immerman on Thursday June 09 2016, @03:28PM

          by Immerman (3985) on Thursday June 09 2016, @03:28PM (#357362)

          I beg to differ - trademarks offer a valuable service to the population, and trademark courts help prevent, for example, cheap Chinese knockoffs from being labeled to look like expensive high-quality brands so they can be deceptively sold at grossly inflated prices, effectively stealing customer's money.

          Of course they probably mostly end up hearing cases of petty corporate squabbling and jockeying for tactical market advantages, but simply by existing they make more blatant violations far less likely.

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by looorg on Thursday June 09 2016, @11:00AM

    by looorg (578) on Thursday June 09 2016, @11:00AM (#357257)

    Marabou has as far as I know never used the lowercase 'm' on their milk-chocolate bars - it's always the uppercase M. If you go on the BBC news linked (or their product assortment link below) the letter printed on the bars is the same one as the M in the Marabou name on the package. That doesn't look like lowercase to me but uppercase. They print that same letter on each individual square of the chocolate bar. For the most part they don't even make the same kind of M&M (or m&m) type candy as they mostly make and sell bars - the M peanut is the exception. The M peanut is the only packaging that even have the lowercase m on it, all other products are uppercase M. It's also just one 'm' and not more of them. I'm almost starting to believe that Marabou did that just to piss the m&m people off. That said I don't see how you could mix the products up or believe one is the other or mistake on for the other - but then I'm not a braindead fucktard brand lawyer.

    Their whole product line.
    http://www.marabou.se/produkter [marabou.se]

    the M-peanut product.
    http://www.marabou.se/produkter/m-peanut?p=6328&r=3248 [marabou.se]

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by bzipitidoo on Thursday June 09 2016, @12:25PM

    by bzipitidoo (4388) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 09 2016, @12:25PM (#357273) Journal

    I disagree with Sweden on this one. Sets a very bad precedent that anyone can be forbidden such a basic unit of language as a letter. Hasn't it been settled that a single word can't be trademarked? And this argument isn't over an entire word, just one letter! What's next, someone will trademark a jingle that is a single note, maybe middle C, and force everyone who uses middle C anywhere in a slightly longer jingle to change?

    Mars isn't trying to stop Marabou from using a letter. This decision smells like favoritism of locals over foreigners, with maybe extra points because the foreigner is American.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by robpow on Thursday June 09 2016, @01:35PM

      by robpow (1575) on Thursday June 09 2016, @01:35PM (#357293)

      Are we taking about the same Marabou, part of Mondelez who also own Oreo, Nabisco etc? Sounds American to me even though they obviously have a local footprint too.

    • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Thursday June 09 2016, @07:18PM

      by HiThere (866) on Thursday June 09 2016, @07:18PM (#357470) Journal

      If you were to claim you shouldn't be able to trademark a single letter, I'd agree with you. As it it, however, even colors with common names (magenta) have been trademarked, and given unreasonably wide protection. A paper company was forced to stop making that color, which my wife found particularly obnoxious because she was using that as a component in some of her commercial projects. (She was selling the entertainment of watching her make small paper sculptures.)

      The original company was not in the business of making paper, so the color trademark, if it even made sense, still shouldn't have impinged on them. But it did.

      --
      Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
    • (Score: 2) by Aiwendil on Thursday June 09 2016, @09:22PM

      by Aiwendil (531) on Thursday June 09 2016, @09:22PM (#357509) Journal

      Yeah, single letter trademarks is a dumb idea - just look at McDonalds, Unilever, Yahoo, Delta airlines, Electrolux, Ericsson..

      What matters is the whole of it - if m&m had put their m at a slant it probably would have been fine, or in a gothic font, or overly stylish or...

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 09 2016, @03:40PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 09 2016, @03:40PM (#357370)

    Overturn this heresy and make Sweden an example for the world, by punishing them. /s

  • (Score: 2) by GungnirSniper on Thursday June 09 2016, @04:28PM

    by GungnirSniper (1671) on Thursday June 09 2016, @04:28PM (#357393) Journal

    Should we be surprised that the courts in the product's country of origin would side with it? Do we expect VK to lose a lawsuit against Facebook? Or Nintendo to lose a lawsuit vs. EA?

    M&M's introduced their M logo on the candy in the 1950s, where Marabou didn't use the similar M logo until the 1960s.

  • (Score: 2) by fritsd on Thursday June 09 2016, @04:42PM

    by fritsd (4586) on Thursday June 09 2016, @04:42PM (#357400) Journal

    <soyvertisement>

    Marabou Rulez!!1!

    For their 100 year anniversary, they just brought out a milk chocolate bar with bits of raspberry fondant (real raspberry; real raspberry pips anyway). It is even better than their regular mjölkchoklad. And their milk chocolate & licorice bar is something I've never seen outside of Sweden.

    </soyvertisement>

    PS if any PR person from Marabou reads this, please feel free to send me a complimentary box full of the stuff

    • (Score: 2) by Aiwendil on Thursday June 09 2016, @09:31PM

      by Aiwendil (531) on Thursday June 09 2016, @09:31PM (#357513) Journal

      You actually like marabou's chocolate&licorice? I like milk chocolate, licorice and combined licorice/milk chocolate but the marabou one is horrible. Try fazer's Salmiakki for a good chocolate&licorice, or any icelandic version.

      And time for soyvertisement - if you live in sweden look at lakritsroten.se for your licorice cravings (they have stores in stockholm as well as webshop), that's where I found the icelandic candy