The company wants an injunction to prevent publisher Simon & Schuster Inc. from using Hershey-owned images to market "Hershey: Milton S. Hershey's Extraordinary Life of Wealth, Empire and Utopian Dreams," which is coming out next month.
Hershey spokeswoman Stephanie Moritz said Monday the company is concerned that consumers may think it "authorized, sponsored or approved" the book. It wants to prevent Simon & Schuster from distributing the dust jacket.
"Hershey does not object to the content of defendant's book, or to the mere use of the word 'Hershey' in the title of the book," according to the lawsuit that was made public Monday. "However, defendant has designed and adopted a dust jacket for the book which extensively uses Hershey's well-known marks and trade dress beyond any manner permissible under law."
The jacket also depicts a Hershey's Kiss, a subtitle in a font similar to the paper wrapper inside a Kiss, and two older Hershey advertising images.
Alexis Welby, a Simon & Schuster publicist, would not comment Monday.
The 305-page book, by New York writer Michael D'Antonio, recounts the life of Milton Hershey, who built the company into a manufacturing behemoth and used his wealth to endow what is today a multibillion-dollar trust devoted to the health and education of children.
The publisher is advertising the book as Hershey's first major biography, the story of "a gambling, raconteur, despot and servant."
In addition to the injunction, the lawsuit seeks money damages and Simon & Schuster-paid "corrective advertising" to counter the alleged negative effects of its actions. Hershey wants the publisher to recall all advertising and other items that violate its trademark and pay its legal costs.
Simon & Schuster and CBSNews.com are both owned by Viacom.
By Mark Scolforo