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Pepperidge Farm calls out Trader Joe's for copycat Milanos

Posted On: Dec. 8, 2015 12:00 AM CST

Pepperidge Farm Inc. doesn’t want you to find out if a sandwich cookie by any other name would taste as sweet.

The Norwalk, Connecticut-based commercial bakery on Dec. 2 filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Trader Joe’s Co. in a U.S. District Court in Connecticut.

Pepperidge Farm alleges that the Monrovia, California-based grocery store company’s Crispy Cookies filled with Belgian chocolate too closely resemble its trademarked Milano cookies.

According to the company, Milano cookies were introduced in 1956 and trademarked in 2010. Meanwhile, Trader Joe’s website says Crispy Cookies have only existed for “about a year.”

“Trader Joe’s has willfully sought to trade on Pepperidge Farm’s reputation and the reputation of the Milano cookies,” the company wrote in the complaint.

While Pepperidge Farm’s chocolate-filled sandwich cookies are oval, Trader Joe’s version, which the company says is “long enough for dunking into coffee or tea, but small enough to be enjoyed in just a couple of bites,” is more rectangular.

In addition to issues with the cookies themselves, the company also argues that the packaging is too similar.

Pepperidge Farm first notified Trader Joe’s of potential trademark infringement in August, according to records. The Milano originators, which ultimately want Trader Joe’s Crispy Cookies taken off store shelves, are seeking damages and attorney’s fees.