UPS says California pot company is infringing on trademark

| Mar 1, 2019 | Trademark Law

United Parcel Service (UPS) has filed a trademark infringement complaint in California, contending a marijuana-delivery business is affecting its branding.

UPS is suing United Pot Smokers and two Southern California residents in the case.

The delivery giant said the pot company has similar logos, and the same abbreviation, that are “intended to capitalize off UPS’s extensive goodwill and reputation.” The company filed their petition on Feb. 13 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

UPS also charged that the marijuana business has been “selling and shipping cannabis products in violation of state and federal laws.”

The company said it sent three letters asking the pot business to cease and desist in its use of its trademark. UPS said it has not received a response and the pot company has continued with its infringement on the “UPS® Family of Marks,” according to the filing.

UPS said it is seeking the intervention of the courts because the company will be irreparably harmed without it. Additionally, UPS said it does not “in any way sponsor, endorse, or approve” of the pot business.

In its lawsuit, UPS is asking for damages and legal fees and, perhaps even more importantly, ownership of all the domain names that a consumer could confuse with the delivery company. A judge, however, rejected in mid-February a request from UPS for a temporary restraining order.

UPS has a long history here in the United States and has spent years building its reputation. If it believes the company’s trademark has been infringed, it has every right to seek relief through the courts.