On Friday, a federal judge granted a motion to dismiss a trademark lawsuit against Madison’s CocoVaa chocolatier by Mars, Inc.
CocoVaa owner Vata Edari, who is an attorney who represented herself against the giant corporation, moved to dismiss the lawsuit, which claimed her company’s name sounded too similar to CocoaVia, Mars’ chocolate-derived nutritional supplement, because it was brought in Virginia.
“This battle here was limited to a matter of jurisdiction,” said Edari, who is also a criminal defense attorney. “I don’t have sufficient contact with Virginia to justify being sued here and a judge agreed.”
Although the dismissal does not speak to the merit of Mars’ claims and the company can still file the lawsuit elsewhere, Edari considers this a win for small businesses.
“It’s intimidating going up against big business and it just goes to show you that sometimes when you stand up, you do win,” she said.
When asked if she had any intentions on changing the company’s name she said, “today I don’t, but what I decide tomorrow I don’t know.”
In the meantime Edari intends to just keep making her award-winning chocolate.
“Today is just one win in a battle, but it’s still a win that shouldn’t be overlooked,” said Edari. “It’s a step forward for small businesses to stand up against these corporate conglomerates.”