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UPS Sues Cannabis Delivery Companies for Trademark Infringement

Feb. 14, 2019, 3:49 PM

Global logistics giant United Parcel Service accused a group of cannabis delivery companies of trademark infringement in a Feb. 13 lawsuit.

United Pot Smokers, UPS420, and THCPlant market and sell cannabis products, and offer delivery and logistics services for these products, through the websites www.upsgreen.com and www.ups420.com, according to the complaint.

UPS accuses the defendants of infringing on its family of trademarks, including its shield logo. The defendants “intended to capitalize off UPS’s extensive goodwill and reputation,” and they ignored UPS’s multiple cease-and-desist warnings, according to UPS’s lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

The alleged infringement hurts UPS’s reputation by associating the company with the cannabis trade, which is illegal under federal law even where states have lifted their prohibitions, UPS said. Moreover, the defendants “have acquired a reputation for unlawful and unprofessional conduct, including offering sham services,” UPS said, pointing to an online review accusing the companies of “ripping off” medical marijuana patients.

The company is suing under California and federal law for trademark infringement, trademark dilution, false designation of origin, deceptive advertising, and unfair business practices. The company is seeking damages, an end to the alleged infringement, and to gain control of the websites.

The defendants couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

UPS is represented by Morrison and Foerster LLP.

The case is United Parcel Service, Inc. v. Kennedy, C.D. Cal., No. 19-00284, filed 2/13/19.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Flood in Washington at bflood@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jo-el J. Meyer at jmeyer@bloomberglaw.com