Unilever, the parent corporation of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, has slapped down an attempt by an Israeli NGO to take over the trademark, The Jerusalem Post reported on Wednesday.
Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center claimed that Ben & Jerry’s has “abandoned” its trademark in Yehuda and Shomron after a decision to stop selling in the region at the end of 2022.
The Post ran an image of a proposed new version of the product, called “Frozen Chosen People” adorned with a profile of Theodor Herzl.
Shurat HaDin said it “has now registered a commercial entity with the Israeli registry of corporations called “Judea and Samaria’s Ben & Jerry’s.”
Unilever was not amused.
“Unilever unequivocally rejects all your assertions…that Univeler has abandoned its trademark rights for Ben & Jerry’s in what you refer to as the Judea and Samaria region of Israel,” a letter dated August 12 reads, signed by Natalia Cavaliere, in response to a letter sent by Shurat HaDin’s President Nitsana Darshan-Leitner.
“Please note that we deem any use of the trademark or tradename Ben & Jerry’s to be a violation of our intellectual property rights,” Cavaliere warned.
In the letter, she also reiterated Unilever’s rejection of allegations that the decision to end sales in the region was motivated by antisemitism: “Finally, and most importantly, Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s reject completely and repudiate unequivocally any form of discrimination or intolerance. Antisemitism has no place in any society.”