Indiana Trademark Litigation Update – Peeps Maker Sues Greeting Card Company

Source: Tom Spalding of Indy Star

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The maker of Peeps — those marshmallow candies that are shaped into chicks, bunnies, and other animals — has filed a lawsuit in Indianapolis, accusing a card company of trademark infringement.

Just Born, a candy manufacturer based in Bethlehem, Pa., claims in a federal court filing that American Greetings Corp.’s recycled paper greetings unit used the likeness without authorization.
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Peeps were introduced nationally in 1958, the company says on its Web site, and are an Easter addiction for many candy lovers because of the sugar-coated yellow chicks.

The company says Peeps are the No. 1-selling non-chocolate candy.

One card introduced as evidence features two live chicks staring at what looks like a peep. “She’s had waaaay too much Botox,” one of the chicks jokes.

“Happy Easter,” says a copy of another card contained in the lawsuit, “From me and my peeps.”

“Defendant has not received permission from JBI, or anyone acting on JBI’s behalf, to manufacture, produce, advertise or sell any item bearing the PEEPS trademarks or trade dress,” the suit reads.

The lawsuit was originally filed in Hamilton Superior Court but was moved to U.S. District Court.

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