Earlier this week, Pepperidge Farms filed a lawsuit against the grocery retailer Trader Joe’s, with accusations that the chain had infringed upon their trademark by selling a type of cookie which bears quite a remarkable resemblance to their popular Milano sandwich cookie, which first hit the market in 1956.
In the compliant, which was filed on Wednesday, the Norwalk, CT-based Pepperidge Farms has alleged the sale of Monrovia, CA-based Trader Joe’s Crispy Cookies not only ruins the reputation of the company but also confuses its customers.
Now, if you look at the cookies it is obvious that the Trader Joe’s Crispy Cookie is more rectangular in shape—and Pepperidge Farms has conceded this—but the snack company argues it does still have rounder edges “mimicking an overall shape,” much like the Milano cookie. Also, they remark that Trader Joe’s has used packaging very similar to Pepperidge Farms’ iconic label.
In the lawsuit, Pepperidge Farm alleges “The acts of Trader Joe’s have been malicious and calculated to injure Pepperidge Farm.” The compliant goes on to say, “Trader Joe’s has willfully sought to trade on Pepperidge Farm’s reputation and the reputation of the Milano cookies,” requesting that Trader Joe’s cease distribution and sale of Crispy Cookies as well as pay both compensatory and punitive damages.
When asked, Trader Joe’s spokeswoman Alison Mochizuki remarked that the company does not comment on any pending litigations. At the same time, no spokesperson from Pepperidge Farms has issued a statement regarding the litigation either, though they did comment “The trust Pepperidge Farm has built with consumers is of utmost importance to us.”