Earlier this month, Circle Okay Shops Inc., proprietor and operator of the chain of Circle Okay comfort shops, filed a Trademark Trial and Attraction Board (“TTAB”) Notice of Opposition towards Medical Marijuana, Inc., a California firm with a pending U.S. federal trademark utility for the next design mark (the “MM ‘Okay’ Mark”):
The MM “Okay” Mark was filed to cowl the next providers in Class 035:
Advertising session within the discipline of botanical merchandise and hemp-based merchandise, particularly, hemp-based private care merchandise, anti-aging merchandise, meals and dietary dietary supplements, chewing gums, candies, drinks, edible oils, and vaporizers; retail providers supplied by direct solicitation by a community of unbiased distributors and unbiased representatives directed to end-users that includes botanical merchandise and hemp-based merchandise containing or derived from hashish with a delta-9 THC focus of no more than 0.3% on a dry weight foundation, particularly, non-medicated hemp-based private care merchandise, non-medicated anti-aging merchandise, and vaporizers; on-line retail retailer for botanical merchandise and hemp-based merchandise containing or derived from hashish with a delta-9 THC focus of no more than 0.3% on a dry weight foundation, particularly, non-medicated hemp-based private care merchandise, non-medicated anti-aging merchandise, and vaporizers.
Circle Okay owns quite a lot of U.S. federal trademark registrations masking providers in Class 035 (equivalent to retail retailer providers, grocery retailer providers, restaurant providers, and different distribution channels for the sale of private care merchandise, anti-aging merchandise, meals and dietary dietary supplements, chewing gums, candies, drinks, edible oils, vaporizers, and many others.), together with the next “Okay” brand:
In response to Circle Okay’s Discover of Opposition, the corporate operates practically 10,000 shops in North America, and operates 1000’s of shops in Europe and Asia. Circle Okay alleges that the MM “Okay” Mark so resembles the Circle Okay mark(s) that, when used on or in reference to the products recognized within the Opposed Software, it’s doubtless “to trigger confusion, to trigger mistake, or to deceive” customers as to the supply of the products.
We’ve written earlier than concerning the TTAB opposition process, and have additionally talked about what TTAB opinions related to cannabis sometimes seem like. A trademark opposition is a continuing during which one occasion seeks to stop registration of one other occasion’s trademark (as is the case right here). If a celebration believes that will probably be broken by the registration of a mark, it could file an opposition. The TTAB’s Manual of Procedure gives steering for TTAB proceedings, and the TTAB follows the Federal Guidelines of Civil Process.
Following utility for a U.S. federal trademark, if an inspecting legal professional approves an utility for publication, that utility can be printed for opposition for a interval of 30 days. Throughout that 30-day opposition interval, third-parties could file a Discover of Opposition with the TTAB, which begins the opposition continuing. In the course of the opposition interval, third-parties might also request extensions to file a Discover of Opposition, granting them extra time to aim settlement negotiations or start the opposition course of.
An opposition continuing with the TTAB is much like litigation in federal or state courtroom. The Discover of Opposition that have to be filed by an opposer is much like a criticism in that it states the factual background of the case, the grounds for opposition of the trademark utility, and the request for aid. Any one that believes it’s or can be broken by registration of a mark has standing to file a criticism.
At this level, Medical Marijuana Inc. has but to file its response, however we’ll observe alongside to see in the event that they do. In the event that they fail to reply, a default judgment can be entered towards them, and their utility for the MM “Okay” Mark can be deserted. This case is certainly one of many within the lengthy record of trademark disputes we’ve seen these days involving massive companies and hashish corporations, and will assist inform future hashish trademark candidates as to the scope of products or providers they’ll safely present beneath a mark that’s much like a longtime model with out infringing.