Ben & Jerry’s settles with studio over X-rated products inspired by ice cream titles
By Jonathan Stempel
(Reuters) – A southern California pornography studio has reached an agreement with Ben & Jerry’s not to release DVDs and other X-rated products whose names pay homage to the company’s ice cream flavors.
The agreement made public on Tuesday resolves a trademark infringement lawsuit that Ben & Jerry’s filed last September against Caballero Video, also known as Rodax Distributors Inc.
It calls for Caballero to stop selling a variety of products including its “Ben & Cherry’s” film series, which included 10 titles such as “Boston Cream Thighs,” “Chocolate Fudge Babes” and “Peanut Butter D-Cups.”
Ben & Jerry’s had claimed that such titles were too similar to its ice cream flavors such as Boston Cream Pie, Chocolate Fudge Brownie and Peanut Butter Cup.
The agreement also covers labels, packaging and advertising that mimicked Ben & Jerry’s own. Caballero’s packaging featured puffy white clouds and grazing cows, and the slogan “Porno’s Finest.” Ben & Jerry’s uses the slogan “Vermont’s Finest.”
A week after Ben & Jerry’s sued, Caballero had agreed not to market the challenged titles while the case was pending.
U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan approved the consent judgment between the parties on Monday.
Ben & Jerry’s is based in South Burlington, Vermont, and is a unit of Unilever Plc.
Caballero has offices in North Hollywood, California. It did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A lawyer for Ben & Jerry’s did not immediately respond to a similar request.
The case is Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Inc et al v. Rodax Distributors Inc et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 12-06734.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Bernard Orr)
[“Stock Photo: Shocked Woman In Studio” on Shutterstock]