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AAP
April 24, 2009 02:45pm

Coincidence?… The iconic Australian Iced Vo-Vo, and the Krispy Kreme Iced Dough-Vo (inset).

ARNOTT’S, maker of the iconic Iced Vo-Vo biscuit, is threatening legal action against the Krispy Kreme doughnut chain if it doesn’t stop selling “Iced Dough-Vo” doughnuts.

Arnott’s lawyers Mallesons Stephen Jaques on Monday sent a letter to Krispy Kreme alleging Iced Dough-Vo doughnuts infringed the biscuit maker’s intellectual property.

It said the name given to the doughnuts, topped with a pink fondant icing sprinkled with coconut, was deceptively similar to Arnott’s Vo-Vo trademarks and sounded almost identical.

It also said Arnott’s was prepared to take whatever steps necessary to protect the name.

Arnott’s gave the Australian arm of the doughnut chain until 5pm today to stop using the name and to undertake not to use similar names in the future.

However, Krispy Kreme Australia CEO John McGuigan said after taking legal advice, the company had decided to continue selling the Iced Dough-Vo.

He said the Iced Dough-Vo and a Rocky Road doughnut were part of a Fair Dinkum Doughnuts promotion that aimed to “put a smile on the faces of our customers and, in a sense, pay homage to some Aussie household favourites”.

He said Krispy Kreme customers understood the difference between a doughnut and a biscuit.

“The word ‘iced’ is pretty well used, and the word ‘dough’ I don’t think has got anything to do with what Arnott’s do, and the word ‘vo’, I’m not sure what it means, but it goes well with ‘dough’.”

Arnott’s has been using the Vo-Vo, Iced Vo-Vo and Iced Vo Vo trademarks since first registering the Vo-Vo name in 1906.

The much loved Iced Vo-Vo, with its strips of pink fondant and jam sprinkled with coconut, is a favourite of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who mentioned it in his 2007 election victory speech.

http://www.news.com.au/business/story/0,27753,25379774-462,00.html

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