Wrigley wins lawsuit to keep Skittles name off marijuana products

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The makers of the popular marijuana strain Zkittlez, which borrowed its name from a trademark owned by confectioner Wrigley, will discontinue the product line after bowing to legal pressure from the candy giant.

In a settlement proposed on June 28, Mendocino County, California-based Terphogz agreed to stop using names, websites and advertising slogans that too closely resemble what Wrigley uses to sell its Skittles candy.

The Wrigley Co., headquartered in Chicago, is a subsidiary of Mars Wrigley.

Representatives of Wrigley and Terphogz did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Reuters, which first reported the proposed settlement.

Mars Wrigley initially sued Terphogz in May 2021, alleging that the cannabis company’s liberal borrowing of its trademark damaged the “nearly 50 years and hundreds of millions of dollars” Mars Wrigley invested in “cultivating the goodwill symbolized by the SKITTLES mark.”

The proposed settlement and permanent injunction require court approval.

A hearing is scheduled for July 12, according to the court docket viewed Monday by MJBizDaily.

Wrigley’s successful effort to prevent marijuana companies from borrowing its trademarks is the latest example of a mainstream company using the courts to keep branding too close to its own intellectual property off cannabis products.

It’s also another reminder that the freewheeling business practices sometimes employed by underground cannabis operations are uneasy fits for the legal industry.

Similar successful legal challenges have been mounted by the Girl Scouts of America, Gorilla Glue Corp., the Hershey Co. and the makers of Tapatio hot sauce.