International Chocolate Day! Chocolate Brands that Have Exceled!

Giselle Ayala Mateus, Esq.

On the occasion of International Chocolate Day, I thought it will be interesting to look at fascinating chocolate brands.

 Trademark protection plays a crucial role in the success of any brand. By securing their unique logos, names, and designs, brands can establish a strong identity in the market and differentiate themselves from competitors. This not only helps in building brand recognition but also prevents others from imitating or diluting their products. Moreover, an effective trademark protection strategy enables chocolate brands to gain consumer trust and loyalty, as customers associate their favorite treats with quality and consistency. Overall, by safeguarding their trademarks, chocolate brands can thrive in a highly competitive industry and continue to delight chocolate lovers worldwide.

Now, how do you protect a trademark?

Trademarks are protected through registration with the IP office. Some countries also offer trademark rights through use. This means that if a trademark is consistently and extensively used in commerce, it may be protected even without formal registration. However, it is generally recommended to register trademarks to ensure maximum protection and enforceability.

 To get a federal trademark registration, you need to submit an application and pay the fee to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Nevertheless, in order to maintain trademark protection, it is also necessary to consistently use the mark in commercial activities. Additionally, it is important to regularly monitor the market for any unauthorized use of the trademark (the “brand”) and take appropriate measures to protect it. This can include sending cease and desist letters, filing lawsuits, or seeking mediation or arbitration to resolve disputes. Overall, protecting brands is an ongoing process that requires vigilance and proactive measures to maintain the integrity and exclusivity of the brand.

 Having a well-defined trademark protection strategy is crucial for safeguarding and advancing a brand. This strategy takes into account various factors such as the brand itself, the company behind it, the product or service offered, and the specific target audience of the brand owner.

Some interesting chocolate trademarks

Lindt & Sprüngli

Lindt & Sprüngli is a Swiss company with more than 2 hundred years in the chocolate industry. They actually became the first producer of chocolate in solid form in Germany in 1847. Since then, the company has thrived and grown. In terms of their brand development and protection, Lindt & Sprüngli has achieved multiple milestones, in  1949 they presented their iconic Gold Bunny, in 1998, the company acquired Ghirardelli Chocolate Company and their trademarks, in 2008 they adopted a sustainability farming program to develop a sustainable sourcing model for cocoa beans, in 2013 the established the Lindt Cocoa Foundation, and today the company owns trademark registration in more than 50 countries, their portfolio includes Lindt, Ghirardelli, Russell Stover, Caffarel, Hofbauer and Kufferle.

Toblerone

Toblerone is also a Swiss company with more than 100 years of history in the chocolate industry. The company’s chocolate concept was developed in the 1900s by Theodor Tobel in collaboration with his cousin Emil Bauman. One of the most interesting aspects of the Toblerone company is its iconic tridimensional trademark. The Toblerone products are immediately recognizable thanks to their interlocking triangular prisms. In the U.S., Toblerone has registered works, mix, and visual trademarks. With this strategy, Toblerone has protected the multiple attributes of its products’ form and presentation.

Nestle

Nestle is an international company with many products and brands, including their well-known chocolate portfolio.  The Nestle brand is a clear example of an umbrella trademark, which has allowed Nestle not only to have a presence in different industries but also to expand without diluting the strength of its brand. Nestle started selling chocolate in 1904 and since then has developed its presence in the industry with many interesting chocolate products like Kinder, Smarties, Milkybar, KitKat, etc. In the U.S. Nestle owns more than 50 trademark registrations.

Ferrero

Ferrero is an Italian brand that also has international recognition. Ferrero chocolate adventure started in 1940 with Pietro Ferrero opening his first workshop in the city of Alba. The Ferrero family started their production facilities in Italy after World War I and later expanded to Germany in 1956. In 1964, they introduced Nutella, which has become a globally recognized product for the company. Nowadays, the company is especially famous for its iconic Ferrero Rocher which is a trademark registered in more than 50 countries. The Ferrero Rocher was launched in 1982 and today around 3,6 billion chocolates are sold each year.

Godiva

Godiva is a Belgium company founded in 1926 by the Draps Family. Initially, the company’s name was Chocolaterie Draps. Thereafter, the name was changed, and the term Godiva was adopted inspired by the Saxon legend of Lady Godiva. Godiva currently has around 450 shops worldwide. In the U.S. the company owns several trademarks.

Creating a strong brand necessitates careful planning, patience, and unwavering consistency. In this endeavor, a well-thought-out legal strategy and the expertise of a dependable trademark attorney play a pivotal role. However, it is also the unwavering dedication and fervor of the brand owners that have propelled these brands to their current success, as they persistently strive for growth and safeguard their creations.

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