Earlier this month, Circle Ok Shops Inc., proprietor and operator of the chain of Circle Ok 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 software for the next design mark (the “MM ‘Ok’ Mark”):
The MM “Ok” Mark was filed to cowl the next companies in Class 035:
Advertising and marketing session within the area of botanical merchandise and hemp-based merchandise, specifically, hemp-based private care merchandise, anti-aging merchandise, meals and dietary dietary supplements, chewing gums, candies, drinks, edible oils, and vaporizers; retail companies offered via direct solicitation by a community of impartial distributors and impartial 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, specifically, 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, specifically, non-medicated hemp-based private care merchandise, non-medicated anti-aging merchandise, and vaporizers.
Circle Ok owns plenty of U.S. federal trademark registrations masking companies in Class 035 (comparable to retail retailer companies, grocery retailer companies, restaurant companies, 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 so forth.), together with the next “Ok” brand:
In accordance with Circle Ok’s Discover of Opposition, the corporate operates almost 10,000 shops in North America, and operates hundreds of shops in Europe and Asia. Circle Ok alleges that the MM “Ok” Mark so resembles the Circle Ok mark(s) that, when used on or in reference to the products recognized within the Opposed Software, it’s possible “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 appear like. A trademark opposition is a continuing during which one get together seeks to stop registration of one other get together’s trademark (as is the case right here). If a celebration believes that it will likely be broken by the registration of a mark, it may possibly file an opposition. The TTAB’s Manual of Procedure supplies steerage for TTAB proceedings, and the TTAB follows the Federal Guidelines of Civil Process.
Following software for a U.S. federal trademark, if an analyzing lawyer approves an software for publication, that software might be revealed for opposition for a interval of 30 days. Throughout that 30-day opposition interval, third-parties might file a Discover of Opposition with the TTAB, which begins the opposition continuing. Through 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 just like litigation in federal or state courtroom. The Discover of Opposition that have to be filed by an opposer is just like a criticism in that it states the factual background of the case, the grounds for opposition of the trademark software, and the request for reduction. Any one that believes it’s or might 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 comply with alongside to see in the event that they do. In the event that they fail to reply, a default judgment might be entered towards them, and their software for the MM “Ok” Mark might be deserted. This case is considered one of many within the lengthy listing of trademark disputes we’ve seen recently involving giant firms and hashish firms, and will assist inform future hashish trademark candidates as to the scope of products or companies they’ll safely present below a mark that’s just like a longtime model with out infringing.