You wouldn't think that chocolatier Jacques Torres would have to worry about his products catching the eye of Hershey's. But Torres makes a rather delicious confection called the champagne kiss which is chocolate kissed with Taittinger Rose champagne and decorated with a lip print ($57.50 for a box of 50
). This caught the attention of the Hershey Company which had their lawyers send Torres a letter claiming that kiss and kisses are Hershey's trademarks and that Torres discontinue the use of the words in connection with his chocolates.
The best part of this story is the reply from Torres's lawyer which NY Magazine's Grub Street has reproduced
. It says that Jacques Torres will not discontinue use of the name and that the request is "yet another example of a giant, monolithic corporation attempting to take advantage of 'the little guy,' in this case, a world-renowned artisan from France." The letter goes on to say that the two products could never be confused and that "the analogy might be similar to Chevrolet complaining that Rolls Royce is infringing on the Chevrolet trademark." Certainly it is true that no one is likely to confuse the two products but is a kiss still a kiss? A quick Google search of the phrase "chocolate kisses" pulls up pages of recipes, Hershey products and even a book and a nail polish that use the phrase as titles, but not a sign of Torres's chocolates.