Would you like your Ben & Jerry's ice cream with chocolate sauce, or a side of porn? The Vermont-based company is suing the creator of "Ben & Cherry's," a porn company that makes X-rated DVDs, claiming that the hardcore films are tarnishing the ice cream brand's reputation by association. They say that the films could cause "confusion, mistake, or deception regarding the company's trademarks." They shouldn't be concerned. You can't exactly walk into a 7-Eleven or your local grocery store, looking for dessert, and accidentally pick up a pornographic DVD, so it's not likely that people will confuse the two.
Image courtesy of sodahead.com.
The cleverly named DVD company has altered the names of several of the ice cream company's signature flavors, turning them into hilarious titles for their films: "Boston Cream Thigh" (from "Boston Cream Pie,") "New York Fat & Chunky" ("New York Super Fudge Chunk") and "Peanut Butter D-Cup" ("Peanut Butter Cup.") Mmm, delicious! You've got to hand it to them for creativity (even if it borders on plagiarism).
It's feasible that Ben & Jerry's could accuse "Ben & Cherry's" of stealing some of their brand name material. But tarnishing their reputation? It's highly unlikely that people will go to the store to pick up a pint of Cherry Garcia and think, "Oh, never mind! This ice cream might be tainted by sex!" The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages, and the the defendants have not responded to messages left at their North Hollywood office. The ice cream company should see the humour in the situation, but neither party appears to be laughing.