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No smile here: Eat'n Park sues Chicago cookie maker

| Wednesday, May 20, 2015, 3:48 p.m.
Norma Rutter of Bulger decorates a sheet of Smiley cookies Wednesday, April 29, 2015, in Robinson — some of the 20,000 donated by Eat'n Park for runners in this weekend's Pittsburgh Marathon.
Norma Rutter of Bulger decorates a sheet of Smiley cookies Wednesday, April 29, 2015, in Robinson — some of the 20,000 donated by Eat'n Park for runners in this weekend's Pittsburgh Marathon.

Eat'n Park has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit over a Chicago company's use of a cookie with a smile on it.

In a federal suit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh, the Homestead-based restaurant chain said Chicago American Sweet & Snacks Inc. sells a cookie called “Smiley's” that Eat'n Park claims is “confusingly similar” to its trademark product in name and appearance.

Eat'n Park has been selling its Smiley cookies since 1985 and has held a trademark for them since 1987. The cookie has become a prominent part of the restaurant's logo image in advertising, on signs and even as a mascot.

The company wants a judge to bar Chicago American from selling the cookies and pay damages and attorneys' fees.

Chicago American could not be reached.

Eat'n Park periodically takes legal action to protect its trademarks, spokesman Kevin O'Connell said.

“When a company owns a trademark, it is required by law to defend it or risk losing its right to the trademark,” he said.

The company has had to defend its Smiley trademark at least seven times since 2002, settling those cases with the defendant either agreeing to stop making cookies with Smiley faces or paying Eat'n Park a licensing fee to continue doing so.

Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-391-0927 or abrandolph@tribweb.com.

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