Copyright Confection: The Distinctive Topography of the Hershey Bar

From Smithsonian Magazine:

After many years of apartment living, I finally live in a house where, on October 31, real, live trick-or-treaters will come knocking on my door. Preparing for this thrilling event has so far involved gluing paper grins onto paper skulls, debating whether a kabocha squash can be a jack-o-lantern, and searching Amazon UK for candy options more unique than the kinds that line the aisles of Walgreens. I was aiming for Cadbury or Ritter Sport, but realized toddlers dressed as action figures will probably not appreciate the extra effort (and expense), so a giant bag of Hershey’s miniatures is now en route to my house.

In the process of all this internet searching for particular species of candy, I discovered something of interest to design thinkers: The plain, boring, classic Hershey bar that I’d gone to great lengths to avoid buying is perhaps not as generic as it seems—at least not in legal terms. Earlier this year, Hershey Chocolate and Confectionary Corporation won a battle with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to legally protect the physical design of their bar. This, I learned, is not an easy thing to do.

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