By Jed Lanyon
Yarra Valley Chocolaterie has become embroiled in a trademark dispute with Nestle over an iconic Australian lolly.
The family owned business has been told to cease using the term ‘Freckles’ by the world’s biggest food company.
Freckles, an Aussie favourite for confectionary, are small chocolate buds coated in hundreds-and-thousands. The sweet treat was created in 1955, with a registered trademark in place on the name Freckles by Nestle.
Yarra Valley Chocolaterie owner Leanne Neeland told the Mail she was surprised to receive a letter from the food giant demanding them to stop using the F word on over 20 of their products.
“We couldn’t believe that somebody could own a word like freckles, it’s such a universal word,” she said.
“We had the option to fight Nestle or to concede and move forward. We went with the latter option rather than face hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of legal fees.
“But we’re trying to find the positive out of it. We asked our wonderful customers for their opinions on new names.”
The chocolaterie decided to rebrand their products as polka dots to avoid any legal troubles.
Nestle reached out to offer their support to ensure the name-change could be an easy process for the Yarra Glen Chocolaterie.
“We are willing to work with Yarra Valley Chocolaterie to support them to transition in a way which minimises their cost and inconvenience,” a spokesperson from Nestle said.
“It’s important for companies to protect their trademarks by preventing unauthorised use, as if they don’t, they can lose the right to their brand names forever. This is why when we became aware that Yarra Valley Chocolaterie was using our trademark, we asked them to stop using it.”
The chocolaterie owner assured her loyal customers that they will be enjoying the same great product and that it’s just the name that will be changing.
“Everyone loves our chocolate. The crispness of the hundreds-and-thousands as well as the tasty high quality tempered chocolate is a match made in heaven… It’s a fun product with a bright and colourful nature to it.
But even Ms Neeland admitted that she has struggled with the re-naming of the beloved round choc disk covered in hundreds-and-thousands that she has come to know as a Freckle.
“I think I’ll be calling them Freckles for the rest of my days,” she joked.