12 March 2019Trademarks

UPS on a high after court issues injunction against United Pot Smokers

United Parcel Service (UPS) has scored an early victory over the operators of the United Pot Smokers website, as a federal court said the postal company was likely to win its trademark infringement suit.

The US District Court for the Western District of California issued a preliminary injunction against the self-styled ‘non-profit’ medical marijuana distributor last Friday, March 8, preventing it from using the ‘UPS’ and ‘UPS shield’ trademarks.

Last month, UPS sued the defendants, who it claimed were the operators of the United Pot Smokers collective. According to the complaint, the group operated the and websites and used a logo that infringed the ‘UPS shield’ mark.

UPS.420 purported to offer customers “business class transportation” of medical marijuana products.

In the original complaint, UPS said it did not “in any way sponsor, endorse, or approve of [the] defendants’ operations”.

Upon issuing the injunction, the district court said that UPS was “likely to prevail on the merits of its claims”.

The court also said that, in addition to using a logo that was “confusingly similar” to UPS’s shield, the defendants’ distribution of marijuana was “contrary to federal law and the laws of several states”.

The marijuana distributors are now enjoined from using the marks pending final judgment in the case.

All of the websites named in the original complaint are now inactive.

In its original complaint, UPS cited a post from consumer website which accused the defendants of operating “several unlicensed scam websites” that “defrauded” medical marijuana patients.

UPS is seeking ownership of the domains and damages for infringement of its marks.

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19 February 2019   United Parcel Service is suing the operators of a self-described ‘non-profit’ medical marijuana collective, “United Pot Smokers”, for infringing its trademarks.