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Amazon's Importing Nestle's "Smarties" Candy Upsets U.S. Candy Seller

Ce De Candies’ (left) and Nestle’s “Smarties” candies

Ce De Candies, Inc., sells its popular SMARTIES tart sugar candy throughout the United States. It began such use in 1950 and obtained a federal registration for SMARTIES for candy in 1965.

Presumably because Ce De has priority, Nestle, S.A., sells its popular SMARTIES coated chocolate candy outside the United States. 

However, some companies import the Swiss company’s SMARTIES candy into the United States, something that bothers Ce De, which is headquartered in New Jersey.

Amazon.com is one such importer, which sells both products.

On June 17, Seattle’s National Public Radio affiliate, KUOW, reported that Ce De has demanded that Amazon stop importing Nestle’s product. The story says that Amazon initially complied with the demand but has resumed sales.

UW School of Law’s Signe Naeve likens the dispute to Tiffany’s recent suit against eBay over the sale of counterfeit product on its site.

“Tiffany was very upset and wanted eBay to be responsible for taking those [counterfeit products] down and for monitoring those,” she said, “and the court ultimately said it wasn’t eBay’s responsibility to sort out the legitimate versus the illegitimate uses, but it really put the burden back on Tiffany and less on eBay as the host of the site.”

This, she thought, may bode well for Amazon.

It remains to be seen what Ce De will do if Amazon continues its sales.

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