On May 3rd, Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company (“Wrigley”)—owner of popular candy brands Life Savers, Skittles, and Starburst—filed a trio of complaints in federal courts against Terphogz, LLC (“Terphogz”), Packaging Papi, LLC, and 2020Ediblez—producers and/or distributors of cannabis products that allegedly mimic the packaging of Wrigley’s brands—for, inter alia, trademark infringement of its protected marks.
One of the three cases, Wm. Wrigley, Jr., Co. v. Terphogz, LLC, specifically named Terphogz as manufacturer and seller of a variety of cannabis products under the brand name “ZKITTLEZ” and the slogan “Taste the Z Train Bro.” In the official complaint (“Complaint”), Wrigley alleged that by slightly modifying its protected marks “SKITTLES” and “TASTE THE RAINBOW” (among others), Terphogz was able to cash in on the reputation of the Skittles brand and command a 20% premium in the cannabis market for its Zkittlez goods.
In a statement made after filing the complaints, a representative for Mars, Inc. (Wrigley’s parent company) said the lawsuits are “intended to stop the illegal and dangerous misuse of [Wrigley’s] world-famous trademarks in the marketing and sale of THC-infused edibles, which resemble Mars Wrigley’s genuine products such as Skittles and Starburst.” THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the psychoactive component of cannabis, a schedule I drug as defined by the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) and Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) under the Controlled Substances Act.
The case is Wm. Wrigley, Jr., Co. v. Terphogz, LLC (Case No. 21-CV-2357) in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. The images above are provided by Wrigley in the Complaint, which can be found at the following link: https://www.docketalarm.com/cases/Illinois_Northern_District_Court/1–21-cv-02357/WM._Wrigley_Jr._Company_v._Terphogz_LLC_et_al/1/