New York City cannabis clothing brand issued injunction for altering city logos
A federal judge ruled on Tuesday that clothing brand NYC New York Cannabis cannot use cannabis-themed versions of famous New York City logos, Law360 reports. Robert Lopez, the owner of the brand, had changed several logos of the city, for example by replacing the broadleaf logo of the Department of Parks and Recreation logo with a cannabis leaf.
U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken granted the city a preliminary injunction finding New York City “likely to succeed on the merits of its claims” because it has proven “that it owns the trademarks of the city by offering registration certificates for the various marks. that the defendant would have copied. He added that the marks are “indisputable” and have “a distinctive character and a secondary meaning” and that the alleged copying “gives rise to a presumption of likelihood of confusion”.
“Defendant’s NYC New York Cannabis marks are virtually identical to, or virtually indistinguishable from, the city’s trademarks.” – Oetken, New York City v. Lopez, via Law360
Lopez operates a retail store in Lower Manhattan, two online stores, and sells through social media accounts. According to the complaint brought by Law360, he also changed the logo of the New York City Sanitation Department to read “Department of Culture” and a Department of Transportation logo that was changed to “New York Cannabis” .
Oetken added that while the city does not currently sell cannabis-themed products, it may “bridge the gap” in the future as agencies become involved in regulating cannabis. The injunction was necessary, according to Oetken, because without it the city would suffer irreparable harm, the decision will serve the public interest, and there is an interest in preventing consumer confusion and protecting federally registered trademarks.
Exclusive offer from our sponsor:
Get daily news updates delivered to your inbox. Subscribe