Wrigley Wins Trademark Case Against Edible Cannabis Candies

On Tuesday, the Central District of California issued a final judgment in the case of WM. Wrigley JR. Company v. Conde et al holding that Stephen Matta violated Wrigley’s trademarks. 

According to the order, Wrigley is a global leader in confections, and markets and sells dozens of well known and famous brands including Skittles and Starburst. 

The court states that for 50 years Wrigley has continuously used the Skittles and Starburst marks to advertise, promote and sell the candies throughout the United States. Additionally, Wrigley owns several federal trademark registrations for the Skittles and Starburst trademarks and trade dress. Further, Wrigley has invested millions of dollars to promote the candies and has earned billions of dollars in revenue from selling Skittles and Starburst candies. 

The judgment states that Matta is a California citizen doing business as OC 420 Collection which promotes, distributes and sells edible cannabis candy products including “medicated Skittles” and “Medicated Cannaburst Gummies.” The court states that these products directly infringe on Wrigley’s  registered trademarks and trade dress for Skittles and Starburst. The judgment states that Matta infringed on Wrigley’s trademark and trade dress with full knowledge and willful disregard for Wrigleys rights. 

Accordingly, the court held that Matta is guilty of counterfeiting Wrigley’s trademarks, dilution of Wrigley’s famous trademarks, unfair competition and deceptive acts, unlawful, unfair and fraudulent business practices. Further the court granted Wrigley injunctive relief preventing Matta from further infringing on Wrigley’s trademarks, manufacturing and goods that are likely to cause confusion with Wrigley’s marks, representing that his products are associated with Wrigley and otherwise competing unfairly with Wrigley in any manner. 

The judgment states that Matta must file a sworn written statement within 30 days stating how he will comply with the injunction and pay statutory damages in the amount of $2 million, disgorgement of all profits along with pre- and post-judgment interest and attorney’s fees.  Additionally, the court stated that since Matta’s wrongful conduct is considered willful and malicious the payment is non-dischargeable even in the event of bankruptcy. 

Wrigley is represented by Loeb & Loeb LLP, and Matta is represented by the Adli Law Group