Cedar Crest Ice Cream may need to find a new name for its dark chocolate flavor as Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream alleges in a federal lawsuit the current Zanzibar name infringes on its trademark.
[caption id="attachment_150606" align="alignright" width="300"] Cedar Crest is facing a lawsuit from Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream over its Zanzibar flavor.[/caption]
The lawsuit, filed last week in the U.S. District Court for Western Wisconsin, alleges that by selling Zanzibar Dark Chocolate ice cream online and through retail locations Cedarburg-based Cedar Crest Specialties Inc. is violating a 2014 trademark registered by Madison-based Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Co. Inc.
Chocolate Shoppe says in its lawsuit that it has used the Zanzibar trademark since 2005 and it is one of its best-selling flavors.
“As a result, the mark has become distinctive in the minds of Chocolate Shoppe’s customers and strongly associated with the Chocolate Shoppe name and Chocolate Shoppe’s products,” the lawsuit says.
It goes on to say the Chocolate Shoppe registered the trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in January 2014 and sent a letter to Cedar Crest in March of that year advising it had the rights to the Zanzibar trademark.
The two companies compete directly in “the same or substantially the same markets and trade channels,” the lawsuit says.
The Chocolate Shoppe argues that by selling under the name Zanzibar chocolate Cedar Crest could “cause confusion, mistake or deception among the public.”
To support its case that Cedar Crest it currently selling the flavor, Chocolate Shoppe included photos from the company’s website and of the product at a Janesville Woodman’s store.
Chocolate Shoppe is seeking an order blocking Cedar Crest from selling under the Zanzibar name, requiring the destruction of all packaging using the trademark, the recall of any product with the trademark, payment of profits from the sale of Zanzibar chocolate and a number of other costs.
Chocolate Shoppe chief executive officer Dave Deadman declined to comment on the lawsuit. A request for comment to Cedar Crest was not immediately fulfilled.