Wrigley traces canna trademark infringers


Back in April, we discussed Florida law enforcement’s concerns about THC food Its packaging infringes the trademark of a famous candy brand. These fakes may confuse consumers and help minors conceal their use of THC products.we Revisit Earlier this month, we argued that the USPTO’s refusal to register the cannabis trademark violated the public interest.

A trademark owner is now fighting back against marijuana fakes. Wm. The Wrigley Small Company (“Wrigley”) is suing five companies that sell counterfeit sweets. In addition to Skittles, infringing products also include counterfeit Life Savers and Starburst, which are also Wrigley brands.

Broadly speaking, infringing products can be divided into two categories. Some products completely copied one of Wrigley’s registered trademarks.For example, a litigation The lawsuit filed in California federal court involves products such as “Medicated Skittles”, “Life Savers Medicated Gummies” and “Starburst Gummies”. On these fakes, the appearance of trademarks such as SKITTLES is exactly the same as that on the original. Only after careful inspection did it become clear that these products were illegal. For example, a bag of “Skittles” has marijuana leaves in the design.

In other cases, the infringement is not so clear.For example, a lawsuit filed in federal court in Illinois involved Kitles And related marks (collectively referred to as “ZKITTLES marks”). According to Wrigley’s complaint, “The ZKITTLEZ trademark is basically the same as Wrigley’s SKITTLES trademark in terms of visual, sound, meaning and commercial imprints.” Wrigley also pointed out that the infringers “used SKITTLES in the advertising, sales and distribution of its ZKITTLEZ products. The same unique red on the candy packaging and the same color of SKITTLES candy.”

Ultimately, whether SKITTTLES and ZKITTLEZ are “essentially the same” will be a matter of fact determined by the Illinois court. However, it should be noted that there are significant differences between these two types of infringements.

Based on anecdotal experience, the most common response to these names seems to be entertainment. This shows that it is unlikely to be confused with real candies (such as skittles). In fact, based on our experience, the US Patent and Trademark Office’s threshold for finding similarities is quite low. Is not The two markers were found to be similar.

THC foods with the SKITTLES logo obviously have no place in our market (at least not until Wrigley decides to enter the cannabis field!). However, for products such as Zkittlez, the court must be careful not to set a precedent, create an excessive chilling effect on creative brands, and over-expand the protection enjoyed by companies such as Wrigley.



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