The first name brand cannabis flowers were a market that Snoop Dogg didn’t want to miss out on – so last November he launched the first of his line of products under the brand name “Leafs by Snoop”. The move seemed natural to both Snoop and his many fans as the rapper has been a celebrity face for the marijuana movement for over two decades now. Strains available under his brand currently consist of “Cali Kush”, “Northern Lights” and “Blue Dream” – all buds that we know are some of the finest you will ever toke.
Since the launch of his line of cannabis products, everything has been represented with the “Leafs by Snoop” logo. Recently, Snoop filed an application to trademark the logo – and on June 9th, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment filed an opposition to his trademark application, as well as for additional time to detail their complaint.
The Maple Leafs are a National Hockey League team from Toronto, Canada and their logo is a blue maple leaf, with serrated looking leaves and the team name in white lettering in the middle. It is presumed that the company is going with the complaint that the two logos are too similar – but just how far will they have to go to keep Leafs by Snoop from using the logo they designed?
“The Maple Leafs might say that their brand has been tarnished by confusion over Snoop’s new logo,” Sprigman (an intellectual properties professor at NYU) said. “That’s quaint but a tough argument. I don’t see a lot of overlap between Colorado pot smokers and Maple Leafs fans.”
Even if they did try to go this route – they would still have to prove that people in the U.S. are all familiar with their logo already.
“The Maple Leafs would have to successfully argue that the general U.S. consuming public, elderly adults, young adults and children across the country, are familiar with and identify with the Leafs logo.”
Honestly, I’m not a hockey fan so maybe that’s why, but I can’t think of too many times (if any) that I’ve seen the Maple Leafs logo before now, so that argument could be extremely difficult for them to make. Either way, while the two logos do have their similarities, they end at the fact that they are a leaf, featuring white text in the middle. Leafs by Snoop’s logo is a gold pot leaf that is made with very straight lines – the Maple Leafs logo is clearly a maple leaf, blue and has serrated edges – making them distinctly different.
Whether or not the Maple Leafs will come through with a compelling enough case or not we will have to wait and see – but I don’t see that it will likely end with a denial of Snoop’s trademark application. After all, they are selling products to two distinctly different markets in the first place.