California businesses that face pressures, including the threat of legal action, from much larger and more established companies can all too often feel like they have no choice but to comply with requests even if those requests are not reasonable. That actually seems to be what some small marijuana businesses in the state and in other states as well may have done when threatened with trademark infringement by a large confectioner.
However, one dispensary in Oakland ended up taking a different approach and it seems to have paid off for them. The company was selling an edible pot candy made by another company that had a name alleged to be similar to a well-known candy that does not contain pot. The manufacturer of the non-marijuana candy contacted the seller, not the manufacturer of the pot candy and demanded that they stop selling the item and accusing them of a trademark infringement.
After initially attempting to follow the request, the dispensary ended up pushing back saying that they were prepared to go to court. This happened after being requested to pay $20,000, sign a confidentiality agreement and stop selling the product. The accusing company ended up ceasing their legal action and instead a settlement that indicates no fault or infringement on the part of the dispensary was signed.
Companies who find themselves embroiled in potential intellectual property disputes might find it helpful to discuss their options with an attorney in California.
Source: ABC News, “Oakland pot dispensary takes stand against Hershey’s trademark infringement accusations,” February 22, 2018