By: Andrew Neiman
“It is a common practice for cannabis companies to give their products names, logos, or identifying artwork that is similar or nearly identical to that of popular brands, products, companies, or famous people. While this practice often is employed in a humorous manner, it exposes companies to trademark-infringement liability. In the event of a lawsuit, a company may be enjoined from using its mark or forced to pay monetary damages to the company bringing the lawsuit. As cannabis products become more mainstream and more states legalize the plant, companies should be aware of the risks so they can take steps to prevent infringement of their own or others’ trademarks.”
“In May 2021, Mars Canada Inc. and Mars Wrigley, the candy giants that produce M&M’S®, Snickers®, Orbit®, Extra®, and Skittles®, concluded a lawsuit involving the use of the Starburst and Skittles brands (the “Skittles lawsuit”). The defendant company specifically mentioned products called “Medicated Skittles,” “Starburst Gummies,” and “Lifesavers Medicated Gummies” that were sold online illegally in Canada and the United States.”
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