The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

April 3, 2009

Sweet victory: Local ice cream stand no threat, Krispy Kreme concedes

BELSANO — Krispy Kreme, the widely known doughnut maker, has finally conceded that the little ice cream stand long known as Krispy Kream Drive-In is not hurting the company’s business.

The five-year legal confrontation between a small business and a corporate titan appears to be over, allowing ice cream stand owners Chrissy and Jack Hoover to breathe a sigh of relief.

The doughnut maker originally threatened litigation regarding the use of its trademark name. But the Hoovers wanted to keep the name by which the stand has been known – even before they bought it 26 years ago.

The doughnut maker says it registered its name in 1951 with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office.

The Hoovers turned down an offer in early 2005 in which Krispy Kreme said that the drive-in could continue to use the name for five more years.

Now the doughnut maker, in a March 11 letter to Ebensburg attorney Gary Jubas, who represents the Hoovers, said that the couple may continue to use the name with two stipulations: They must continue to use the words “drive in” with the name and they must not sell doughnuts.

Those conditions were no problem for the Hoovers, Jubas said.

The business has used Krispy Kream Drive-In on mugs and napkins, and it never has sold doughnuts – just ice cream and such things as hamburgers and french fries.

In addition, Jubas said that the doughnut maker has, in effect, conceded that the ice cream stand is not hurting the doughnut business.

Attorney George Little Jr. of Winston-Salem, N.C., who represents Krispy Kreme, wrote to Jubas, “We acknowledge that we are not aware of any actual confusion with our client’s famous Kripsy Kreme trademarks to this point in time. Therefore we are temporarily closing our file on this matter.”

However, Little reserved the right to raise the issue in the future if any confusion would develop.

The Hoovers, who continued to operate during the legal dispute, are preparing to reopen the stand – beginning at 11 a.m. April 13 – for the summer season.

“I’m thrilled,” Chrissy Hoover said of the doughnut maker's concession.

Krispy Kream Drive-In is located at 3680 Ben Franklin Highway in Belsano. The phone number is 749-7889.

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