6 May 2020TrademarksRory O'Neill

Mondelēz halts pursuit of THC sweet makers

Confectionery company  Mondelēz has dropped its trademark claims against the makers of infringing THC-infused candy, having already secured judgments against several retailers of the sweets.

Last July, Mondelēz’s Canadian subsidiary filed a complaint in California against the then-unknown defendants behind the Stoney Patch brand of THC-infused sweets being sold online, which it said infringed its trademarks for the popular  Sour Patch brand.

According to Mondelēz, the sweets were part of a growing trend among cannabis companies to “market their products by copying and misappropriating the colors, flavors, names and packaging of popular snacks and candies”.

Mondelēz later filed claims against several cannabis companies, including Green King LA, Dr Vape Group, and Vape Hub, who all sold Stoney Patch through their retail outlets.

None of those companies were involved in the actual manufacture of Stoney Patch.

Judge Cormac Carney of the US District Court for the Central District of California ruled in favour of Mondelēz on the trademark infringement claims against all three companies, the most recent judgment coming on April 28.

Each of the retailers acquired the infringing products from unnamed vendors who visited their stores in person offering them for sale, or offering samples. Vape Hub had purchased 20,000 units of Stoney Patch for $4000.

None of the named defendants knew the identities of the vendors behind Stoney Patch, or had any documentation that could identify them, court documents stated.

It appears Mondelēz has now dropped its pursuit of the makers of Stoney Patch, voluntarily dismissing its claims against all unidentified defendants.

Mondelēz launched Sour Patch in 2012, and has sold more than 630 million packets of the sweets, the company said. It owns several international trademark registrations for the brand covering candy products.

Large brands have frequently been wary of their marks being associated with cannabis products. Last year, WIPR covered the makers of  MiracleGro’s lawsuit against a marketing company targeting companies in the cannabis industry.

And in March, the  Bank of Oklahoma sued a cannabis dispensary, Dank of Oklahoma, accusing it of trying to “play on and capture” the financial institution’s good will.

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More on this story

2 July 2019   The Scotts Company, which owns the popular ScottsMiracle-Gro plant food brand, is suing a company which it says is using its marks for products aimed at cannabis and hemp producers.
13 March 2020   The Bank of Oklahoma has hit cannabis dispensary Dank of Oklahoma with a trademark infringement suit, accusing the dispensary of intending to “play on and capture the good will of” the bank.