Massachusetts cannabis company New England Treatment Access and lumber firm Boise Cascade Company have settled a federal lawsuit over the cannabis company’s use of a logo similar to Boise Cascade’s, according to a Masslive report. The lawsuit was filed in April in U.S. District Court in Boston.
Attorneys for Boise Cascade argued that the cannabis company’s tree-in-a-circle logo was “confusingly similar” to their logo and used a “nearly identical” green color which would likely “cause confusion, to cause mistake, and/or to deceive customers and potential customers” into believing there was a link between the dispensary chain and the lumber company, Masslive reported in April. NETA denied any wrongdoing.
“As alleged in our complaint, because of the similarity between NETA’s tree-in-a-circle logo and Boise Cascade’s decades-old Tree-in-a-Circle trademarks, Boise Cascade is concerned that NETA’s logo will dilute, weaken, or tarnish the reputation and distinctiveness of Boise Cascade’s Tree-in-a-Circle trademarks.” – David Viens, Boise Cascade attorney, to Masslive
The parties notified the court in July that they were working on a settlement and last month filed a joint motion in agreeing to dismiss the case, with no costs awarded on either side. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed. The NETA website now displays a blue logo that is not dissimilar from the one challenged in court.
There’s been a host of trademark-related lawsuits in the cannabis space, including a fight over “Woodstock,” Citibank asking California-based cannabis company Citidank to stop using the moniker, hot sauce company Tapatio defending its sombrero-adorned “Charro” mark, adhesive company Gorilla Glue forcing the famous strains that shared a namesake to change their branding name to GG4 and GG5, and Snoop Dogg facing off against the National Hockey League’s Toronto Maple Leafs.
In 2018, MedMen filed a federal copyright on the word “cannabis” appearing on t-shirts, while a Washington dispensary operator was denied federal trademark protection in 2016 for “Herbal Access” because the trademark would be used for federally-prohibited cannabis sales.