Cannabis Companies in Michigan Trade Allegations Over “Breeze” Trademarks

Cannabis company Trucenta Holdings LLC and its fellow Michigan competitor Breeze Smoke LLC have filed cross-claims of trademark infringement and unfair competition over each other’s use of the word “BREEZE” in their cannabis products. The litigation continues disputes over related trademark applications and trademarks before the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, as well as at least two disputes before the USPTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB). At issue in the Michigan federal suit are the alleged marks BREEZE, BREEZE SMOKE, BREEZE PLUS, BREEZE PRO, and BREEZE PALM.

In August, Breeze Smoke filed a complaint against Trucentia in the Eastern District of Michigan, alleging federal and state trademark and unfair-competition claims. On Wednesday, Trucenta responded with its answer and counterclaims, bringing similar trademark and unfair-competition allegations against Breeze Smoke.

Trucenta claims that beginning in March 2019, it began promoting a “medical and recreational marijuana facility” using Trucenta’s BREEZE mark. The company alleges that in April 2019, it began promoting CBD products under the BREEZE mark. And it asserts that in February 2020, the marijuana facility began operations.

Breeze Smoke claims that it began using the BREEZE mark “since at least as early as May 2019.” And it claims that it began using the BREEZE SMOKE mark “since at least as early as March 1, 2020.” Breeze Smoke claims that it became aware of Trucenta’s use of the BREEZE mark “on or around February 2020” and of Trucenta’s trademark applications in November 2020.

Beyond their claims of common-law trademark rights, both parties have also filed numerous trademark applications with the USPTO. Among its allegations, Breeze Smoke claims that the USPTO has “issued suspension letters and office actions refusing registration for those applications based, inter alia, on Breeze Smoke’s prior-pending U.S. Application … for BREEZE SMOKE and … for BREEZE PLUS.”

For their trademark, consumer-protection, and unjust enrichment, and unfair-competition claims, both Trucenta and Breeze Smoke seek both injunctive relief and damages.

Breeze Smoke is represented by Honigman LLP, and Trucenta is represented by Hoffer Law and Reising Ethington PC.