Ms Syovata Edari, a criminal defence lawyer and owner of recently established chocolatier CocoVaa, is being sued by Mars Inc. in the US for trade mark infringement over the name of her chocolate business. Mars Inc. says the name CocoVaa is too similar to its own line of chocolate-derived nutritional supplements called CocoaVia.
Ms Edari started her chocolate business in 2015 under the name of Gilded Artisan Chocolates but then changed the name a year later to CocoVaa as she liked the name and because the name combined two key elements that meant something to her: Coco (for chocolate) and “Vaa” which was the nickname her father used to call her, resulting in a more distinctive and personal brand name for her business.
As a sole proprietor Ms Edari could have felt intimidated by a trade mark lawsuit from a multinational corporation but felt her experience as a lawyer allowed her to stand up to the charges which she beleives are unsubstantiated. Mars. Inc.’s trademarked name “CocoaVia” covers the health market and is specifically for nutritional supplements and powders while Ms Edari’s trademarked name of CocoVaa is covered solely by the confections class.