The Great Cookie Design Battle of 2010 Has Begun

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If you thought design-based intellectual property rights were merely for the fashion and tech industries, you are as wrong as wrong can be. There is currently a legal war raging between the Pennsylvania-based restaurant chain Eat’n Park and Cookies by Design in Plano, Texas. The issue? According to the Dallas Morning News, Eat’n Park has discovered that Cookies by Design has been selling a cookie that features a smiley face, one that the company feels is “‘confusingly similar’ to its own,” as well as using the name “Smiling Faces” or variations thereof to describe their cookie offerings (Eat’n Park uses “Smiley” which is very similar). Thus, they’ve decided to take the matter to court. Some details:

Eat’n Park says it has a trademark from 1987 for the “sugar cookie having raised design of a smiling face.” In its lawsuit filed in a federal court in Pennsylvania on Dec. 31, the company asks that Cookies by Design stop selling its version of smiley cookies and pay an undisclosed amount of dough in damages.

A key ingredient of Eat’n Park’s case is the lawsuit’s Exhibit A, which shows a circle with two round eyes, a dot for a nose and a perky smile.

The paper has images of the two cookies side to side, to allow you to make your own decision on this important matter. Also, they’ve included a PDF of the court filing, which we highly encourage you to read. It will be the best thing you see all day, we promise.