Taken from www.reuters.com | Author: Jonathan Stempel | Date: 3 July 2023
Wrigley, the maker of multi-colored fruit-flavored Skittles candies, has settled a lawsuit accusing a seller of cannabis-related merchandise of trade mark infringement for marketing products under the "ZKITTLEZ" name.
Under a proposed permanent injunction filed on Monday in Chicago federal court, Terphogz LLC agreed not to use Skittles, Zkittlez or similar terms for cannabis-related sales.
Terphogz would stop using slogans such as "Taste the Z Train" and "Taste the Strain Bro," which Wrigley found too similar to Skittles' longtime slogan "Taste the Rainbow."
It also agreed to give up the domain name zkittlez.com, though it may use the letter "Z" if people will not be confused.
The settlement requires court approval. Lawyers for Wrigley and Terphogz did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Wrigley is a Chicago-based unit of privately-held Mars Wrigley.
It had accused Terphogz of undermining nearly 50 years of goodwill generated by the Skittles brand with its "freewheeling use" of Skittles marks to sell cannabis, drug paraphernalia and other merchandise, some of which also carried a rainbow theme.
A judge rejected Terphogz' bid to dismiss the case in November 2021.
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 has filed lawsuits alleging trade mark infringement related to other brands, including Life Savers and Starburst.
The case is Wm Wrigley Jr Co v Terphogz LLC, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, No. 21-02357.