A lawsuit that started in California in the middle of July targets a brand called Stoney Patch. The company makes gummy candies that are infused with THC. While making edible marijuana-based products is nothing new, the lawsuit alleges that the company essentially copied the popular Sour Patch Kids, which are a gummy candy aimed at children.
Pictures of the bags for the two products show that they share much of the same bright color scheme. Even the pictures of the gummies on the outside of the bag appear similar, though the Stoney Patch variety all have a single bloodshot eye, rather than two eyes and a smile.
It's been called a "virtual knockoff." Even with the minor differences, there is concern that children may confuse the two products. They could then accidentally consume the THC-infused edibles, rather than the sugary snack they were expecting. In that regard, this case could be about more than just trademark law and infringement on the Sour Patch Kids brand to make sales. It could be about keeping children safe.
It is also worth noting that the laws governing marijuana sales in California specifically state that companies cannot use anything that would attract children deliberately. It could be argued that copying the style, colors and design of the Sour Patch Kids' bag breaches this regulation, even if they are not marketing directly to children.
Trademark cases are very important for a variety of reasons, as this story shows. Anyone who thinks that their brand has been infringed upon needs to know what legal options they have at their disposal.