Chicago-based multistate marijuana operator Green Thumb Industries (GTI) is being sued over its “Incredibles” cannabis edibles brand by Edible Arrangements, a franchisor of stores that sell bouquet-shaped fruit baskets.
Edible Arrangements claims GTI’s Incredibles brand infringes upon its numerous federally registered trademarks, including “Edible” and “Incredible Edible,” according to a complaint filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
The complaint asserts that GTI has no trademark rights over the “Incredibles” name and that a stylized Incredibles logo is “confusingly similar” to Edible Arrangements’ own logos.
The fact that GTI’s products are made of marijuana makes no matter, the complaint argues, “because cannabis-related products are within the zone of (Edible Arrangements’) natural expansion, as evidenced by Edible’s expansion in-fact to sell cannabidiol (‘CBD’) products in (Edible Arrangements’) retail locations.”
The suit also notes that marijuana is federally illegal in the United States and a trademark “must be used in lawful commerce” to secure trademark priority rights.
In addition to an injunction to stop GTI’s alleged trademark infringement, Edible Arrangements is seeking redress including damages and legal fees as well as an award based on GTI’s profit.
Green Thumb Industries said in a statement that it’s investigating Edible Arrangements’ claims, “but they appear to be without merit, and we intend to aggressively defend against them in court.”
“Even those who’ve consumed a generous serving of our delicious Incredibles Mile High Mint bar wouldn’t confuse a pre-cut fruit bouquet delivery business with an edibles cannabis brand,” GTI spokeswoman Linda Marsicano wrote in the emailed statement.
The marijuana company characterized the suit as “a classic example of trademark overreach,” writing that Edible Arrangements’ trademark rights “have nothing to do with cannabis or CBD, and their proclamation of rights in the term ‘Edible’ in the cannabis and CBD space is extremely specious.”
Edible Arrangements’ complaint says that over the past 20 years, the company “has spent millions of dollars and has expended significant effort in promoting genuine (Edible Arrangements) goods and services under the Edible Marks.”
“(Edible Arrangements) actively enforces its rights in the Edible Marks against third parties,” the complaint says.
– Solomon Israel