(This story has been updated with Canopy Growth saying it was declining comment.)
Oregon-based Northwest Natural Goods alleges in a lawsuit that Canopy Growth Corp.’s Martha Stewart CBD product line intentionally copied Northwest’s Wyld CBD brand packaging and marketing designs.
The copyright-infringement complaint, first reported by Law360, alleges that Northwest Natural Goods and a former strategic investment subsidiary of Canada-based Canopy Growth, Canopy Rivers, were in business discussions regarding the Wyld CBD line of products between July and November of 2019.
As part of those discussions, the Sept. 9 complaint alleges, Canopy Rivers was provided a Wyld CBD business plan, including “trade dress” and copyrighted materials for the brand’s blackberry, lemon and raspberry CBD gummies. Trade dress typically shows the look of a product or its packaging.
One year after Wyld terminated the talks, according to the complaint, Canopy launched its own CBD product line in partnership with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, which is based in New York and owned by Marquee Brands.
“Prior to distributing the Martha Stewart CBD products, defendants knew of Wyld’s trade dress and, on information and belief, intentionally copied that trade dress to trade off of Wyld’s goodwill and reputation,” the complaint alleges.
Each brand’s products are available nationwide.
According to the complaint, some stores that carry both brands place them side by side, causing consumer confusion.
The complaint also noted that in February 2022, Vitamin Shoppe declined to carry the Wyld brand because it was too similar to Martha Stewart CBD gummies and would “create cannibalization within (the store’s) assortment” of products.
Northwest Natural Goods is seeking compensation, “compensatory damages in an amount to be determined at trial, attorneys’ fees, costs and disbursements.”
“As a successful and growing American midsize business with an expanding customer base, we are committed to protecting our brand integrity and the high-quality products our customers have come to trust,” Wyld founder and CEO Aaron Morris said in a statement emailed to MJBizDaily.
“Our unique brand identity is critical to Wyld’s growing reputation, and we are taking this action to ensure that our customers are not deceived and that we remain positioned for future growth.”
A Canopy Growth spokesperson declined to comment on an active litigation.
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia did not immediately respond to an MJBizDaily request for comment.
Kate Robertson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.