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The Hershey Co. has reached a settlement with California-based Premier Nutrition Inc. over the packaging of Hershey's Take5 candy bar, one of its most successful new products, according to a report in The Patriot-News.
In April, Hershey had filed a federal lawsuit against Premier Nutrition of Carlsbad, Calif. Hershey claimed Premier's Twisted bar was being sold in a package similar to the Take5 bar.
Under a consent decree approved this week in U.S. Middle District Court in Harrisburg, Pa., Premier is prohibited from using packaging for its Twisted candy that would cause confusion with Hershey's Take5 bar. In addition, Premier agreed to pay Hershey an undisclosed amount for attorney fees and other costs incurred in the lawsuit.
"The matter has been resolved in terms satisfactory to both sides," said San Diego lawyer James R. Ballard, who represented Premier.
He said Premier will be allowed to continue distributing the Twisted bar, but "you will see it in a different package."
Hershey said it was "pleased with the terms of the settlement," adding that it could not discuss details because of a confidentiality clause.
Hershey introduced the Take5 bar in December 2004. U.S. sales have reached $70 million a year, the company reported.
To capitalize on the candy bar's popularity, Hershey has started a special promotion asking budding filmmakers to prepare 30- to 60-second lighthearted TV commercials on the Take5 bar. The winner will receive $10,000.
As part of the contest, comedy director Peter Segal -- whose newest work will be "Get Smart," starring Steve Carell -- will select the top five entries. The winner will be picked by consumers, who will vote on the five choices on www.thegreatestcandybarever.com. The deadline for film entries is July 31.
Take5 contains peanuts, caramel, pretzels, peanut butter and milk chocolate. Hershey said Premier's Twisted bar has similar ingredients.