After Subway filed a trademark lawsuit, the cannabis dispensary Budway must pay $40,000
No one has ever accused the Budway cannabis dispensary of being cunning.
The Vancouver store’s logo is light green and dark green letters, with arrows on it, and an oval in the background—a tribute to the Subway sandwich chain that the Federal Court judge deemed to be too obvious.
Budway’s mascot is a seemingly stoned, co-smoking, marijuana-filled submarine sandwich, and its motto is: “This is the way, boy.”
But Judge Nicholas McHaffy stated that Budweiser cannot continue to infringe on Subway’s trademark.
The decision is an introduction to trademark law and reminds people of a friendly respect for well-known brands that can lead to dangerous areas of the law.
This The judge ordered the master of Badway Paying $40,000 to the chain this week and destroying any signs, merchandise, packaging, and labels that are not clearly marked by the cannabis dispensary.
Although there is no evidence that this small company actually eats up Subway’s annual Cdn sales of $1.8 billion in the country, McHaffy discovered that Budweiser is actually trying to use Subway’s reputation to sell its products.
His analysis of the case began with the similarities between the two signs.
“In each case, the word elements of the trademark are similar, and the similarities in letters and pronunciation between Subway and BUDWAY are self-evident,” McHaffy wrote.
“‘Budway’ is not a word per se, and the fact that it is often read in a way that implies the common word’subway’.”
“Both parties provide food and edible products”
McHaffy is The same judge who ordered Herbs “R” Us Wellness Society paid Toys “R” Us Canada $30,000 after a similar challenge last year.
In this case, McHaffy discovered that Herbs “R” Us used the trademark in a way that might detract from the goodwill of the toy manufacturer.
But he said in the decision that consumers are unlikely to confuse the two companies because Toys “R” Us” is associated with a product line that is a few light years away from the products sold by Herbs “R” Us.
This is not the case with Budway, whose promotions include a 10% discount on food on “Munchie Mondays.”
“As Subway pointed out, although’their ingredients may be different, both parties provide consumers with food and edible products,'” McHaffy wrote.
“I also agree with Subway’s view that the interviewee used the submarine sandwich mascot and mentioned’snacks’ to compare products more closely.”
Champagne and women’s clothing
Canadian trademark law gives the trademark owner exclusive rights.
Infringement occurs when other people sell, distribute, or promote products with confusing trademarks, because it creates the impression that goods and services are associated with the owner of another proprietary trademark.
According to the decision, the obfuscated test is “the first impression in the mind of a casual consumer who is in a hurry”.
The trademark dispute continued until Supreme Court of CanadaIn 2006, French champagne manufacturer Veuve Clicquot challenged a women’s clothing store called Boutiques Cliquot in Quebec.
The Supreme Court of Canada ruled on the champagne manufacturer.
“The difference between the appellant’s luxury champagne and the appellee’s mid-priced women’s clothing is huge,” the court found.
“Although some trademarks go beyond the goods, services, and businesses with which they were originally associated, no witnesses in this case indicated that ordinary consumers would associate the VEUVE CLICQUOT logo with mid-priced women’s clothing.”
McHaffie found that, on the other hand, Budway is doing its best to link its products to Subway.
Attachment A: That mascot.
“Obviously from [Budway’s] Using the subway sandwich mascot, this connection is intentional and considered desirable,” the judge wrote.
McHaffie said Budway threatened the goodwill that Subway’s trademark gained through its association with a “healthy and active” lifestyle.
Subway’s lawyers said that Budway’s actual location “a little low-end appearance” made the situation worse.
The man identified as the owner of Budway did not respond to the lawsuit. He also did not respond to a request for comment.