Wednesday, December 06, 2006


And so the box of cookies I received the other day via UPS Ground turned out to be an empty box with no MRS. FIELDS cookies inside. Amidst my disappointment, I then noticed that the box had been vandalized through the bottom of the box and then sloppily retaped during transit from Mrs. Fields to my office.

I was not really thinking of the registered trademark for MRS. FIELDS for bakery goods, namely cookies and brownies (U.S. Reg. No. 1983184; Reg. Date, July 2, 1996), nor its recipe, which is no doubt a closely guarded trade secret. I was thinking, rather, of the strength of this famous brand name and the fact that it is imprinted in large letters on the outside of the box, which was no doubt too tempting for the cookie thief. Or perhaps the thief is a sugar addict or chocoholic... This I do not know. I do know that this theft may, in fact, be a left-handed compliment or confirmation of the good will associated with the MRS. FIELDS brand and trademark. For instance, I do receive all the books, etc. that I order from, so what makes MRS. FIELDS different ? I guess the thief is not much of a reader. Or maybe I should have Amazon ship my Mrs. Fields cookies in an cardboard box.

As yet there is no happy ending but I did call customer service at Mrs. Fields and explained my dilemma of having received their box but no cookies thanks to a cookie thief. I did not mention that this might just be karma for the freshly baked cookies I used to sneak off the stove top many years ago when my little sister wasn't looking...... yet I had already paid the price for that since my sister, after learning of my clandestine operations, later started adding Tabasco sauce to certain 'bait cookies', having finally caught me in the act and using a spatula to swat my hand as I reached from the floor from what I thought was a good hiding spot.... Unfortunately, Mrs. Fields was not able to reship the cookies in a generic box that was not imprinted in large letters with their famous brand name. This was certainly not the first time a Mrs. Fields box of cookies had been felched and another shipping alternative was advised. The jury is as yet still out on this remedial effort.

***** Dec. 7, 2006 Update: Mrs. Fields Rocks ! Replacement Package arrived this afternoon via USPS Priority Mail...... which is either a tribute to the honesty of USPS employees or the threat of tampering with U.S. Mail and its penalties is simply too big a risk. In any case, Mrs. Fields has earned even more good will as far as I'm concerned. *****

Nevertheless, I have come to the conclusion that there was a silver, or chocolate chip, lining in this travesty, namely:

That there are powerful brands in our lives. In the case of MRS. FIELDS cookies, the good will and fame associated with this trademark and brand is not just due to advertising. The product itself is obviously popular because the cookies taste so good. In any event, these powerful brands need to be protected, and in the case of MRS. FIELDS, there are indeed numerous registrations which protect this brand as a trademark and which assist the trademark owner in defending its exclusivity to this mark. This in turn is a confirmation of the value of having a solid trademark registration program and a good trademark attorney. For any trademark owner who relies on its marks to generate business and to protect it's business investment, these are obvious conclusions which ought not be ignored.

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