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Hanging Car Scents Trademark Battle

A comparison of Car-Freshner's Little Trees, top row, and Exotica Fresheners' tree-shaped product.

By SouthFloridaReporter.com, Nov. 22, 2015 – In the legal battle of the hanging automotive air fresheners, all that is little are the trees.

At one table in a federal courtroom in Lower Manhattan on Monday sat representatives of the Car-Freshner Corporation of Watertown, N.Y., makers of a product familiar to anyone who has ever ridden in a cab or wanted their car to smell like one.

It is called Little Trees. The company’s logo is a mighty pine. Car-Freshner asserts in court papers that the look of its products is associated by the general public “with the concepts of freshness, cleanliness and pleasing scents.”

At the other table were arrayed the legal forces of Exotica Fresheners Company of Holland, Ohio, maker of a competing product that hangs from considerably fewer rearview mirrors.

Exotica’s symbol is a palm tree, with a broad trunk and laden with coconuts.