Wrigley Resolves Trademark Dispute With Cannabis Company Over ‘ZKITTLEZ’
Wrigley, the maker of colorful candy Skittles, settled a lawsuit accusing a cannabis company of trademark infringement for marketing products under the “ZKITTLEZ” name.
In a proposed permanent injunction filed on Monday in Chicago federal court, Terphogz LLC agreed not to use Skittles, Zkittlez or any similar names or terms for cannabis-related sales, reported Reuters.
What happened: Wrigley accused Terphogz of undermining nearly 50 years of goodwill generated by the Skittles brand with its “freewheeling use” of the Skittles marks to sell cannabis, weed paraphernalia and other merchandise, some of which also carried the colorful rainbow theme, which characterizes Skittles.
Terphogz, based in Mendocino, California, claimed it did not sell cannabis, but licensed its intellectual property rights to other companies that sold cannabis legally, reported Reuters citing court papers.
Under the terms of the settlement, Terphogz will have to stop using slogans such as “Taste the Z Train” and “Taste the Strain Bro,” which Wrigley said was too similar to its Skittles’ longtime slogan “Taste the Rainbow.” It also agreed to give up the domain name zkittlez.com, though it can continue to use the letter “Z.”
The settlement requires court approval, Reuters noted. Lawyers for both companies did not respond to requests for comment.
In August 2022 when Wrigley filed the lawsuit, the company argued that marijuana businesses that use candy-company trademarks are creating serious risks for children, who can easily confuse the products for candy.
Terphogz, based in Mendocino, California, claimed it did not sell cannabis, but licensed its intellectual property rights to other companies that sold cannabis legally, court papers show.
Wrigley is a Chicago-based unit of privately-held Mars Wrigley.