A final judgment recently rendered in WM. Wrigley Jr. Company v. Roberto Conde, et al., is nothing short of a cautionary tale and a powerful reminder to cannabis companies: Parody is NOT a defense to trademark infringement in this type of commercial context. Reports LA Cannabis News
We all know Wrigley – it’s a titan in the food industry and offers a range of products like gum, mints, and candies, including Skittles, Starburst, and Lifesavers. Wrigley is the owner of numerous trademarks and, relevant here, owns and have used the famous SKITTLES and STARBURST marks.
The judgment, which is based on a consent decree between the parties, is rendered against Steven Mata, an individual who lives and conducts business in Orange County. Mata does business as OC420, which is a retailer of edible cannabis products.
Mata marketed and sold products like “Medicated Skittles,” “Medicated Cannaburst Gummies,” and a “Munchies Edible Deal.” The packaging is clearly meant to imitate the Skittles and Starburst packaging, which adopts and uses the word marks in the same fashion and features a graphic design that is also nearly identical to the original candies.
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