Internet Practice – Hershey

Published on January 10, 2010 by in News

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OLG has represented Hershey in over twenty UDRP proceedings in the past five years scoring a win in every case and picking up domains ranging from milkduds.com to chocolatekiss.com to hershey.mobi. Read the domain name wire report here.

Review the milkduds.com case here.

OLG has successfully used the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to stop copyright infringement of the Candy Maker’s protected trade dress in its candy wrappers in over a dozen such DMCA actions.

WINNING BACK MILKDUDS.COM FOR HERSHEY

Taking back the MILKDUDS.COM domain name from a cybersquatter was not a foregone conclusion.  The owner posted content on the site touting a line of clothing called “Milkduds” – using jersey cow prints.  If the owner of the site was actually selling jersey cow print clothing under a Milk Duds brand, then reclaiming the domain name would be difficult.  To overcome this hurdle, OLG commissioned an investigation, which showed conclusively that the owner was not selling Jersey print clothing and had no legitimate business associated with the site.

The owner of MilkDuds.com tried to argue that it had a line of clothing called Milk Duds, with milk referring to cow designs and duds referring to clothing.  The site owner tried to argue that it had a line of clothing called Milk Duds, with the common terms “milk” and “duds” referring to its alleged Jersey Cow themed line of apparel.

OLG successfully proved that the respondent was not commonly known as “Milk Duds” and that respondent had no bona fide offering of goods or services.

The investigation was a powerful tool to refute Respondent’s claims that it used the domain in connection with a Jersey Cow pattern line of apparel. The Respondent offered no evidence of a product line, and actually had admitted to the investigator that no such Jersey Cow pattern line of apparel existed.  The parties filed numerous rounds of additional written statements – each time with Hershey prevailing.  Ultimately, the Panel awarded the name to Hershey.

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Lindsay Kassof and Kathleen Ryan of The Ollila Law Group (OLG) recently won a UDRP action on behalf of the Hershey Chocolate & Confectionery Corporation to reclaim the milkduds.com domain name. In what turned out to be a highly contentious proceeding, OLG successfully proved Hershey’s exclusive rights as the sole licensee in the famous MILK DUDS trademark and the respondent’s lack of a legitimate interest and bad faith in both registering and putting up a face page for the milkduds.com domain name. The National Arbitration Forum Panel found that the respondent failed to support its argument that an alleged Jersey cow print line of swimwear gave rise to rights in the domain name. The Panel also rejected the respondent’s argument that Hershey’s rights in the MILK DUDS trademark are limited to candy, pointing out that class of goods or services are not relevant in a UDRP action.

You can read the Panel’s decision here.

OLG routinely represents a wide range of clients, including Hershey, in Internet matters, including UDRP and DMCA actions. To date, OLG has won 100% of Internet actions filed on behalf of OLG clients.For more information about our services, please contact Kathleen Ryan at kryan@olgip.com.

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