David versus Goliath?
One of the nation’s largest specialty tea companies is suing a small Oregon marijuana shop for trademark infringement over use of the name “Stash.”
The Stash Tea Co. in Tigard, a Portland, Oregon suburb, accuses the Stash Cannabis Co. in nearby Beaverton of “systematic infringement of trademarks owned by Stash Tea,” Willamette Week reported. Stash Cannabis sells medical and recreational marijuana.
In a lawsuit filed on April 20, Stash Tea also charges that Stash Cannabis hurts the tea company’s brand “by misappropriating and using the likenesses of Stash Tea’s trademarks in connection with the sale of marijuana, and marijuana-related products and services.”
Stash Tea’s trademark extends to the sale of “dried plants and tea,” Willamette Week reported. Stash Tea is seeking an injunction, legal costs, and damages that include profits. The marijuana store recently said its sales were $3,000 to $4,000 a day.
Stash Cannabis owner Chris Matthews told Willamette Week he’s hired a trademark lawyer to defend his company and that he doesn’t believe his business, which opened last September, affects that of Stash Tea.
The late beverage entrepreneur Steven Smith, who also founded Tazo Tea Co., founded Stash Tea in 1972. The Yamamotoyama Tea Co. of Japan acquired Stash Tea in 1993.