Appeal Moves Forward in ‘Woodstock’ Cannabis Trademark Dispute

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The battle over the use of the “Woodstock” name for cannabis products is continuing in the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals which heard that the U.S. District Court judge in the July 2019 ruling had erred in his decision granting the festival owner use of the moniker, Law360 reports.

Woodstock Roots LLC., and its affiliate Woodstock Products, argue that they secured trademark registrations to use “Woodstock” to sell non-cannabis smokers’ products – such as lighters and rolling papers – in 2013. They say the trademark filings predate the trademark attempt for cannabis products by Woodstock Ventures LC, the company that owns the rights to the 1969 festival.

In the 2019 ruling, U.S. District Judge Paul G. Gardephe said that while Woodstock Roots had obtained their trademark before Woodstock Ventures, the former company did not intend to use its trademark in the cannabis space. Woodstock Ventures has maintained that Woodstock Roots is violating its trademark by using the “Woodstock” name for branding. Woodstock Ventures’ co-founder Michael Lang plans to use the name for “Woodstock Weed,” which would use strains inspired by those available in the 1960s, like Panama Red and Acapulco Gold.

Woodstock Roots argues that Woodstock Ventures only “intermittingly” used the mark and presented “unreliable evidence” that it had previously used the mark for smokers’ products. Woodstock Roots also claims that Gardephe erred in his ruling that there would be no consumer confusion over the products – one for tobacco and one for cannabis – and, moreover, that cannabis products are federally outlawed and, therefore, cannot be trademarked.

Woodstock Ventures has applied to cancel Woodstock Products’ trademark registration for smokers’ articles, but the application has not been enforced pending the legal battle, which began in 2018.

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Appeal Moves Forward in ‘Woodstock’ Cannabis Trademark Dispute


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