Milkdudz Vs. Hershey's: UPDATE: Still Trying to Find a Sweet Ending

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UPDATE: It’s been almost eight months since the lives of these two mommies, Kiersten Wall and Stephanie Schulte, have become even more stressful and tiring from not only the hundreds of diaper changings, bouts of tears and everything else that comes along with being today’s super mom, but having to fight a corporate monster! These fashionista mommies are founders of Milkdudz ‘Not Your Mommaz Nursing Wear.’, a company dedicated to helping breastfeeding women regain a sense of their personal style and sex appeal, is being challenged by the Hershey’s Confectionary Company.

Kiersten and Stephanie offered to change their name, but Hershey’s not only refused, but in return, asked for even more from the home-based business than they originally did! What are they to do now?

Back in October 2005, Hershey’s filed an opposition with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (Case# 91166974) claiming that a third party consumer would be confused between Milkdudz ‘Not Your Mommaz Nursing Wear’ and the chocolate covered caramel candy known as “Milk Duds.” Also, Hershey’s is claiming that Milkdudz ‘Not Your Mommaz Nursing Wear’ will somehow tarnish the reputation of the candy. Hershey’s is demanding that the name of the breastfeeding apparel company be changed and the domain rights handed over to Hershey’s as soon as now.

While Hershey’s had the “Milk Duds” mark officially trademark in 1970, they only reserved the category of CANDY. When adding a trademark to any name/logo, there are many different categories in which you can have exclusive rights to, and while marking “Milk Duds,” Hershey’s only marked the category “candy.” Kiersten and Stephanie’s patent attorney wonders aloud why they did not pay the extra hundred dollars to reserve the category of “apparel” if they intended to make clothing in the name of Milk Duds.

Other than that, Milkdudz ‘Not Your Mommaz Nursing Wear’ did not choose its name to be remotely related to the chocolate covered Milk Duds – being that Milkdudz is catering to women who are producing “Milk” and it is common knowledge that “Duds” is a synonym for clothing, the name was altered with a “z” to match the “z” in mommaz. The women of Milkdudz ‘Not Your Mommaz Nursing Wear’ are very saddened at the idea of being forced to change a name that they worked so hard to make known. However, Milkdudz ‘Not Your Mommaz Nursing Wear’ HAS offered to change their name, but Hershey’s did not accept their offer and want full control over Milkdudz ‘Not Your Mommaz Nursing Wear’ domain name. In addition to this on going debate that has now cost this small independent company tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees, the multi-million dollar Hershey’s Empire has made these two hardworking, loving mothers of young children “stop their lives” for a deposition on May 4th that they CANCELED at the last minute.    

In addition to Milkdudz ‘Not Your Mommaz Nursing Wear’ efforts to help change women’s lives, on April 20, 2006 Kiersten and Stephanie were awarded “Volunteer of the Year for Riverside County” for their kind heartedness work in supporting The Alternatives for Domestic Violence support group that offers a full range of specialized services including crisis intervention, counseling, legal advocacy and assistance, court appearance preparation, court accompaniment, individual, group, and family counseling, information and referral to other needed services, community education, and professional training. Milkdudz – not your mommaz nursing wear, contribute 10% gross to the cause and spent their own Mother’s Day throwing a spectacular brunch for all the ladies and children, making it truly special!

So throughout the months and years of raising children, running a business and volunteering their limited FREE time, Kiersten Wall and Stephanie Schulte have to convince a multi-billion dollar company that they are just two mommies doing what they know best…making people feel good! The questions is: Who has time for all of this?

Based out of Temecula, California, Milkdudz ‘Not Your Mommaz Nursing Wear’ was founded by two fashionista mommies Kiersten Wall and Stephanie Schulte, who breastfed their own children without any stylish nursing cover-ups or sexy undergarments. With the revitalized interest in breastfeeding, they saw a need for fashionable nursing accessories and decided to start their own company dedicated to providing women with quality nursing accessories and apparel that look fabulous and sexy. "We are both true believers in breastfeeding and we enthusiastically encourage women to be involved in the amazing experience. When we nursed our babies there was nothing sassy or stylish to use as a cover-up. We know that sometimes nursing women feel, as we both did, frumpy and out-of-sorts. We designed the Milkdudz, ‘Not Your Mommaz Nursing Wear’ collection to help women regain their sense of style, sexiness and confidence. The feedback we have received has been tremendous and we will continue to bring hip nursing accessories to the forefront of fashion,” explains Kiersten and Stephanie.

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Marla Russo
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