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Milano Cookie Millions: Pepperidge Farm Sues Trader Joe’s Over Trademark Confection

Milano Cookies
Credit: Geoff via Wikimedia Commons

Pepperidge Farm is taking grocer Trader Joe’s to court over claims that one of its cookies looks a little too much like one of the company’s own.

At the center of the trademark infringement complaint filed in Connecticut federal court on Wednesday are two cookies: Trader Joe’s Crispy Cookies and what Pepperidge Farm’s claims to be the original, its Milano cookie.

The cookie maker’s complaint alleges that the grocery store chain’s Crispy Cookies and their packaging too closely resemble their own Milano cookies and corresponding packaging – which, according to Pepperidge, dilutes the value of Milanos though deceptive marketing, USA Today reported.

In their complaint, the Connecticut headquartered commercial bakery–a division of the Campbell Soup Co–wrote that “Trader Joe’s has willfully sought to trade on” the reputation of their company and its trademark Milano cookie, which Reuters notes to be a popular product.

The cookie which Pepperidge claims Trader Joe’s is infringing upon has, over the last decade, generated hundreds of millions of dollars, according to the complaint filed in New Haven, Connecticut.

With its filing, Pepperidge aims to bring the sale of Trader Joe’s Crispy Cookies to a halt while demanding punitive and compensatory damages.

The trust Pepperidge Farm has built with consumers is of utmost importance to us

A spokeswoman for the Connecticut based cookie company was quoted by Reuters as having said that the “trust” their company has established with consumers is of the “utmost importance” to them.

The trademarked Milano cookie — launched decades ago, all the way back in 1956 — is generally filled with chocolate, however, other flavors are at times available. The filling is pressed between a couple of cookies shaped like ovals.

The Trade Joe’s variant is, according to Pepperidge Farm’s complaint, more of a rectangular design, but one which nonetheless mimicked “an overall oval shape.”

The acts of Trader Joe’s have been malicious and calculated to injure Pepperidge Farm

The complaint referred to Trader Joe’s acts as “malicious and calculated to injure” their company.

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