July 14, 2009

Pez wants museum’s profits

Austrian candy company Pez Inc. is suing a California museum showcasing Pez memorabilia, seeking all profits from the museum's 14 years of operation.

The trademark-infringement suit against the Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia, filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco last month, names the couple who own the museum, Gary Doss and Nancy Yarbrough Doss.

The museum contains at least one item from the more than 550 versions of the Pez dispenser created by the company.

From a branding perspective, I think Pez should embrace the Dosses and the museum instead of trying to attack them, Roger Cole, the Mountain View, Calif., trademark attorney representing the couple, told the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News.

The suit also seeks to have the museum destroy a 7-foot-10 Pez dispenser in the shape of a snowman, which was custom-made for the museum.

Gary Doss said he and his wife do not want to see the snowman destroyed.

My feeling is that it's a piece of art, he said. It is one of a kind. It is not for sale. And one of its main purposes as a piece of art is that it draws people into our store so we can sell Pez.

Larry Johnson, a Palo Alto attorney representing Pez, did return calls seeking comment, the Mercury News said.