Mars sues another Mars over earthly trademark

Maryland Watch

October 23, 1998

Charging that consumers are confused by two retail chains with the same name, Mars Super Markets Inc. is suing Mars the Musician's Planet to get the music super store to drop the name and logo in the Baltimore region.

The 56-year-old supermarket chain, with 15 Baltimore-area stores, says in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court that the music store's use of the name and similar red planet logo infringes on Mars' trademarks, resulting in unfair competition.

"Mars supermarket is obviously very concerned about protecting the value of its trademark which has been developed in the Baltimore area for decades," said James D. Mathias, the lawyer representing the supermarket chain.

But Mark Begelman, president of the rapidly expanding Florida-based music store chain -- which opened an outlet at Perring Plaza last summer and plans another in Catonsville -- called the charges "silly."

"We're not imposing on them," he said. "How could anybody confuse a food store with a musical instrument store? We never advertise as just Mars -- we don't want to get in trouble with the candy people."

Pub Date: 10/23/98

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