A Swedish court has ruled Mars cannot sell its iconic M&M’s chocolate candy in Sweden, unless it removes the lowercase “m” on the product’s packaging and candy coating. The Svea Court of Appeal ruled the trademark belongs to Mondelez, which sells Marabou brand chocolate-covered peanuts with a single lowercase “m” on the packaging. The ruling says the Mars logo is too similar and prohibits the company from using the trademark “M&M’s” and “m” in Sweden.
According to the British publication the Independent, Mars and Mondelez reached a deal in 1989 whereby Mars would not sell M&M’s in Scandinavia. The agreement expired in 1998, and Mars introduced the candy into Sweden in 2009. The publication says Mars sought legal action in 2010 to declare the Mondelez “m” trademark invalid.
In a statement to Food Engineering, Mars says it has always believed no confusion exists between its chocolate candies and the Marabou M Peanut brand. “Given the court’s decision, we will assess the next steps for our beloved brand in Sweden,” the company says. “We will, of course, comply with all local laws in this matter.”