The owners of a Vancouver cannabis dispensary called Budway have been ordered to pay Subway restaurants $40,000 for trademark infringement, reports CBC.
Having it their way
While the store’s mascot is sort of original — ”…a seemingly stoned, joint-smoking, marijuana-filled submarine sandwich whose motto reads: ‘It’s the way, bud,’” according to the piece — Justice Nicholas McHaffie said the company logo and name borrowed from Subway’s reputation.
Not that Subway’s reputation is rock solid, exactly (remember Jared? Or the plastic in the bread?). But the ruling sends a strong message to cannabis entrepreneurs.
Mind your trademark law
While the piece doesn’t say so, Budway is likely unlicensed — a stoned weed sandwich mascot is unfortunately not compliant under the regulations.
The reason for that is to ensure products aren’t alluring to kids, who are also unfortunately sometimes victims of trademark infringement in cannabis. Media regularly covers stories of children whose parents forgot to lock away high-potency cannabis edibles that look a lot like Skittles or Sour Patch Kids.
Big Candy has taken notice
Subway isn’t the first mega-corp to go after cannabis copycat brands. In May, the New York Times reported that America’s biggest candy companies were also taking legal action against cannabis entrepreneurs for copyright and trademark infringement. Christopher Gindlesperger, a spokesman for the National Confectioners Association, told the Times that the problem is worse than ever.
““The situation has become more and more egregious,” he said.