Mars Inc's Wm Wrigley Jr. won a lawsuit against one of several cannabis producers for trademark infringement.
Wrigley had filed a lawsuit in Chicago and California federal courts last year against several sellers of marijuana products claiming their packaging infringed trademarks of the company’s popular Skittles, Starburst and Life Savers. The company also in the lawsuit said that marijuana businesses that use candy-company trademarks are creating serious risks for children, who can easily confuse the products for candy, which is in part why the conglomerate sued the businesses – to protect the public. Mars is one of the world's leading manufacturers of chocolate, chewing gum, mints and fruity candy.
"At Mars Wrigley we take great pride in making fun treats that parents can trust giving to their children and children can enjoy safely," a Wrigley spokesperson told Reuters via email. "We are deeply disturbed to see our trademarked brands being used illegally to sell THC-infused products."
One of the lawsuits was resolved by a judge who ruled in favor of the plaintiff. In the case of Wrigley vs. Roberto Conde, et.al, the justices sent a strong message to cannabis companies – parody can’t be a defense argument against trademark infringement, writes Canna Law Blog.
The judgment was declared against Steven Mata, who runs a marijuana edibles company in Orange County under the name OC420. Mata was advertising and selling edibles calling them “Medicated Skittles,” “Medicated Cannaburst Gummies,” and “Munchies Edible Deal.” The names and packaging were obviously crafted to imitate Skittles and Starbursts, creating an almost identical design.
The ruling confirmed that Mata’s conduct constituted trademark infringement, trademark dilution, unfair competition and deceptive acts, dilution under relevant California Business and Professions Code statutes and counterfeiting. The Court issued an injunction against any future counterfeiting, infringement, and deceptive acts.
Mata has to recall any products, packaging and advertising already produced and give them to Wrigley's attorneys for elimination. Further, Mata must give an accounting of all profits from these products and turn them over to Wrigley. He is also compelled to pay statutory damage of $2 million per counterfeit mark, pre-judgment interest as well as Wrigley’s costs, including legal fees.
Photo: Benzinga Edit; Source: EKATERINA BOLOVTSOVA by Pexels
© 2022 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
Ad Disclosure: The rate information is obtained by Bankrate from the listed institutions. Bankrate cannot guaranty the accuracy or availability of any rates shown above. Institutions may have different rates on their own websites than those posted on Bankrate.com. The listings that appear on this page are from companies from which this website receives compensation, which may impact how, where, and in what order products appear. This table does not include all companies or all available products.
All rates are subject to change without notice and may vary depending on location. These quotes are from banks, thrifts, and credit unions, some of whom have paid for a link to their own Web site where you can find additional information. Those with a paid link are our Advertisers. Those without a paid link are listings we obtain to improve the consumer shopping experience and are not Advertisers. To receive the Bankrate.com rate from an Advertiser, please identify yourself as a Bankrate customer. Bank and thrift deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Credit union deposits are insured by the National Credit Union Administration.
Consumer Satisfaction: Bankrate attempts to verify the accuracy and availability of its Advertisers' terms through its quality assurance process and requires Advertisers to agree to our Terms and Conditions and to adhere to our Quality Control Program. If you believe that you have received an inaccurate quote or are otherwise not satisfied with the services provided to you by the institution you choose, please click here.
Rate collection and criteria: Click here for more information on rate collection and criteria.