NEW YORK — Ben & Jerry's considers "Ben & Cherry's" in bad taste.
The ice cream maker that introduced the flavors Schweddy Balls and Karamel Sutra sued the maker of "Ben & Cherry's" X-rated DVDs Wednesday, saying the "hardcore pornographic" films have smeared its reputation.
The trademark lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan said the sale of hardcore and exploitive pornographic DVDs and related goods is tarnishing Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc.'s name by creating an association with pornography. It said the claims arise from the distribution and sale of a series of DVDs containing "exploitative, hardcore pornographic films" featuring titles and themes based on "well-known and iconic" Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavors as well as packaging that contains key company features such as a grazing cow, green grass and large white puffy clouds.
The lawsuit by the Vermont-based company said the films would likely cause "confusion, mistake or deception" regarding the company's trademarks. It identified some of the X-rated names similar to its own as "Boston Cream Thigh," `'New York Fat & Chunky" and "Peanut Butter D-Cup." Ben & Jerry's has ice cream flavors titled: "Boston Cream Pie," `'New York Super Fudge Chunk" and "Peanut Butter Cup."
For nearly 35 years, Ben & Jerry's has produced and sold ice cream, frozen confections, frozen yogurt and sorbet, building the reach of its trademarks through more than 300 Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shops in the United States and another 150 shops internationally, as well as through supermarkets, drugstores, delis, ice cream cars and online, the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages. A message left with defendants Rodax Distributors and Caballero Video at their North Hollywood, Calif., offices wasn't immediately returned.