28 June 2022Trademarks

Cointreau and cannabis company settle TM suit

Liqueur maker Cointreau and Canadian cannabis company Canopy Growth have settled their trademark clash over Canopy’s ‘Quatreau’ sparkling water infused with cannabidiol (CBD).

In a notice filed Friday, June 24, the parties asked the US District Court for the Southern District of New York to dismiss the suit. District Judge Edgardo Ramos dismissed the case yesterday, June 27.

Cointreau Corporation accused Canopy of infringing its ‘Cointreau’ trademark in July last year.

According to the suit, Canopy adopted the ‘Quatreau’ mark and instructed consumers to pronounce it ‘Kwatro’ in order to “unfairly capitalise on the goodwill and reputation” of the ‘Cointreau’ trademark.

“Defendants’ wilful actions will not only confuse consumers as to their affiliation with plaintiffs and the Cointreau brand, but will blur the excessive association plaintiff enjoys between Cointreau and a single source of orange liqueurs,” said the suit.

Cointreau Corporation also said it was "actively considering" selling Cointreau water and soda in the US and that it already owns Cointreau trademarks to cover non-alcoholic drinks.

“Not only will products bearing the Cointreau mark appear alongside Quatreau CBD products on the same shelves in the marketplace, but consumers recognise that both Cointreau and Quatreau waters could be sold,” said the suit.

It added: “Such circumstances exemplify the defendants’ intention to trade off the market dominance and fame of the ‘Cointreau’ mark.”

Canopy denied the allegations, filing its answer to the complaint in September last year and listing 17 affirmative defences.

A case management conference was set for 5 April 2023, before the case was settled.

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