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Ben & Jerry’s goes to court over ‘Ben & Cherry’s’ porn movies

When Vermont-based ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s heard about the existence of a 10-DVD set of porn movies cheekily entitled Ben & Cherry’s, the company was having none of it.

The set comprised movie titles based on the name of its ice cream offerings, prompting lawyers for the ice cream company to sue for trademark violation.

Though it’s possible the movie titles raised a smile or two with company executives – with names like Boston Cream Thighs (Boston Cream Pie), Chocolate Fudge Babes (Chocolate Fudge Brownie), and Peanut Butter D-Cups (Peanut Butter Cup), how could they not? – they nevertheless instructed their lawyers to take up the matter with the production company, California-based Rodax Distributors, with the aim of getting the porn producer to remove the titles from the market, or at least change the names to something else.

The jackets of the DVDs were reportedly also an issue, as they resembled the packaging of various products made by the ice cream company, with the familiar fluffy white clouds and grazing cows set alongside images of men and women in their birthday suits.

In its complaint, reported by Bloomberg, Ben & Jerry’s said: “The hardcore and exploitive pornographic infringing ‘Ben & Cherry’s’ DVDs” are likely to confuse consumers by “creating an association of the Ben & Jerry’s family of marks and the Ben & Jerry’s trade dress with pornography.

Precisely how many consumers would get confused between a milk- and sugar-based dessert and a porn movie is open to debate, but one can understand Ben & Jerry’s annoyance at having its firmly established logos and images used by other companies to sell its own products.

The case was filed by Ben & Jerry’s in a Manhattan federal court on Wednesday. The dessert maker is also seeking monetary damages.

The company (Ben & Jerry’s, that is), set up by friends Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, started out in a Vermont gas station in 1978. Its large range of ice creams now sold in 26 countries across the world.

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