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Milano cookie battle: Pepperidge Farm sues Trader Joe’s over copyright infringement

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Trader Joe's Crispy Cookies look too similar to Milano cookies. (Pepperidge Farm/Trader Joe's)

Pepperidge Farm is suing Trader Joe’s for infringing on the trademark of its popular Milano cookie.

According to a complaint filed on Wednesday in New Haven, Conn., federal court, the grocery chain’s version of a sandwich cookie, called Trader Joe’s Crispy Cookies, look too similar to the Milano cookie and the products’ sale is “damaging its goodwill and confusing shoppers,” reports Reuters.

Milano cookies, which were introduced to the market in 1956, are crispy oval-shaped vanilla cookies with a chocolate crème filling. Over the years, variations have been introduced, including mint chocolate, orange chocolate and even pumpkin spice. The cookie was trademarked in 2010.

Trader Joe’s version of the sandwich cookie is more rectangular but has rounded edges, which, according to Campbell Soup-owned Pepperidge Farm, is too similar since it clearly mimics “an overall oval shape." The company also has accused Trader Joe’s of using similar packaging.

"The acts of Trader Joe's have been malicious and calculated to injure Pepperidge Farm," whose Milanos has generated hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue in the last decade, reads the suit.

Pepperidge Farm wants Trader Joe’s to immediately stop selling Crispy Cookies and is also seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

"The trust Pepperidge Farm has built with consumers is of utmost importance to us," a spokeswoman for the company told Reuters.