A marijuana delivery organization marketing and advertising itself as UPS 420 is getting sued by UPS, the national common parcel delivery service, alleging trademark infringement. Not only is the delivery service usurping its name, plaintiffs argue, but are also capitalizing on the well-known shield logo that has turn out to be synoymous with the bigger UPS brand.
As our California cannabis attorneys know, some smaller sized marijuana dispensaries and delivery solutions are creating the fatal error of assuming these big, name-brand firms will not take note if they piggyback on the bigger firm’s brand recognition. This could not be farther from the truth. Marijuana trademark infringement is taken pretty seriously by these major corporations. Some have whole legal departments devoted to identifying and addressing copyright and trademark infringement.
Though trademark infringement can be somewhat of a difficult region of legality for marijuana organizations since, as noted in a current Los Angeles Cannabis Law Group weblog, the U.S. Trademark Act has a certain clause requiring trademark registrants to attest their mark is not made use of to sell illegal goods. As it stands at present, marijuana is nonetheless illegal per the U.S. Controlled Substances Act.
Some cannabis corporations can get about this provision by as an alternative pursuing a copyright infringement case (based on the situations), but a organization like UPS taking action against a marijuana delivery service does not have this challenge.
It is crucial for Southern California marijuana corporations to go over their branding and marketing techniques with an skilled Los Angeles marijuana lawyer even ahead of launching them since lots of of these challenges can be subverted ahead of they ever turn out to be a painfully high-priced challenge. We do recognize it can be challenging to overcome the intense challenges of markets across the nation that are saturated (creating wholly original names and logos increasingly challenging to create) and disparately regulated (creating discovering which names are currently in use difficult).
For anything like this, on the other hand, applying a huge brand name and logo like UPS and its iconic shield was doomed just about from the get started. It is not a fight this tiny marijuana delivery upstart is most likely to win. Having said that, an skilled marijuana trademark infringement lawyer could be in a position to assistance negotiate substantially reduce penalties and probably operate out a deal to prevent the need to have to close shop totally.
Right here, in UPS v. Kennedy, UPS is searching for numerous relief actions. These include things like:
An quick injunction on applying any copy or imitation marks equivalent to the UPS family members of trademarks for any marketing, manufacture, sale, and so forth. of respondent’s items.
An injunction on any representation – direct or indirect – that UPS in any way is involved or endorses respondent’s items or solutions.
Requirement that respondent turn more than any and all merchandise, logos, packaging, promotional components, items, to UPS so that they can not be made use of in the future.
Respondent transfer ownership and manage of its web site domain names bearing all marks, symbols, name or likenesses to the UPS brand of marks to UPS. (The organization counted 3 domain names total.)
Repay plaintiff for actual damages, enhanced damages (per 15 U.S.C. § 1117 for willful violation of a registered trademark) and lawyer costs.
Once more, an skilled Los Angeles marijuana trademark lawyer could or could not assistance a client prevail in such a case, but they can just about normally assistance negotiate a greater outcome than what would have been attainable if the organization chooses to go it alone. Do not discount the reality that basically closing shop will not be adequate if a court decides a case in favor of a plaintiff and areas a lien not only on one’s business enterprise but individual accounts.
UPS v. Kennedy, Feb. 13, 2019, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
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