21 August 2020TrademarksRory O'Neill

Clint Eastwood wins injunction over CBD retailers

A California federal judge has granted Clint Eastwood an injunction against two cannabidiol (CBD) retailers, blocking them from using his name or likeness in advertising their products.

The Hollywood star, and his company Garrapata, sued the sellers last month after he discovered that his image was being used in a fake news article to promote CBD products.

CBD is a chemical found in the cannabis plant that is used to treat conditions including severe epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.

Eastwood is suing under US trademark law, citing infringement of a registered mark for his name, as well as common law trademark infringement, defamation, and violation of privacy.

According to the actor’s complaint, the defendants distributed a fake online article that claimed Eastwood was retiring from the movie business to focus on selling CBD.

The article purports to be an exclusive interview with Eastwood, in which he discusses his passion for CBD advocacy.

A total of three CBD sellers were named in the suit, with Eastwood alleging they each distributed a different version of the article promoting their specific products.

One of the defendants,  Sera Labs, told the court that it was not responsible for the article and had no advance knowledge of it.

Sera said its agreements with its digital marketing partners expressly prohibited false celebrity endorsements, and asked to be excluded from any injunction.

The court agreed to Sera’s request, but granted the injunction against the other two defendants, Greendios and For Our Vets.

The order prohibits the defendants from using Eastwood’s name, likeness, or trademarks to sell or promote CBD products.

According to District Judge Gary Klausner, Eastwood had demonstrated a likelihood of succeeding on his trademark claims, as well as irreparable harm if the injunction were not granted.

Klausner initially issued the injunction on July 22, but gave the defendants until August 4 to challenge the order.

After neither of the enjoined defendants submitted a motion, Klausner finalised the order on Wednesday, August 19.

The judge noted that Sera’s exclusion from the injunction had no bearing on its potential liability.

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