For years Mars has been dressing up its M&Ms as various fictional characters for its commercials, but it may have crossed the line when it decided to dress one up like Zorro, the black-clad masked outlaw made popular in comic books.
Zorro Prods.--the owners of the rights to the Zorro character--are suing Mars and BBDO Worldwide, its advertising agency. The plaintiff alleges Mars and BBDO infringed on its Zorro trademark and trade dress. Zorro Prods. says the violation was exacerbated when Mars placed its own trademark registration over the Zorro candy character. Alleged damages are at least $500,000.