What's the deal with Dreyer's and Breyers? Shouldn't somebody be suing somebody else?
-- Bob Chambers, Rancho Bernardo
A big food fight in court would be a nice change. Flying butter pecan. Cherry-vanilla bombs under the lawyers' chairs. Judge Judy with a face full of rocky road. But sorry, Bob. About 15, 16 years ago, the Dreyers and the Breyers met at the malt shop, shared a soda with two straws, and worked out a deal. Actually, there wasn't much to work out. Breyers was holding all the chocolate chips.
A Dreyer's spokescone sez, in the 1920s, Mr. Dreyer and Mr. Edy started making really good ice cream in Oakland. Mr. Breyer was already doing the same in Pennsylvania. Breyers ice cream began oozing its way into the Midwest a few decades later. The Dreyers were content with West Coast domination until the early '80s, when they also snuggled up to the tornado belt. "Hey, wait a minute, bub," sez Breyers. "No fair confusing our simple, corn-fed constituency with a name just like ours!" "Huh?" says Dreyer's.
"We got here first," sez Breyers, sliding the bill for the soda across the table. "We own a trademark on our name. You don't have a trademark on your name." Dreyer's couldn't argue. So east of the Rockies, Dreyer's is called Edy's Grand Ice Cream. And Breyer's was free to invade the West with impunity and their own name.