Taste The Injunction: Unsweet Ending For Skittles Infringer, Terphogz

Wrigley’s suit, filed in 2021, alleged trademark infringement

Candymaker Wrigley and Terphogz, LLC have reached a settlement in a high-profile lawsuit over Terphogz’s use of the mark ZKITTLEZ on cannabis products and other merchandise such as clothing (WM. Wrigley Jr. Co. v. Terphogz, LLC, No. 21-CV-02357 (N.D. Ill. July 3, 2023)). Wrigley argued that Terphogz infringed on its SKITTLES trademarks, including its tagline TASTE THE RAINBOW and its S logo. As part of the settlement agreement, Terphogz has agreed to immediately cease all use of the ZKITTLEZ marks, including TAZTETEHZTRAINBRO, ZKITTLEZ HEMP, and ZKITTLEZ HEMP & Cloud Design.

Wrigley’s suit, filed in 2021, alleged trademark infringement, false designation of origin, unfair competition, trademark dilution under both federal and Illinois law, and violation of the Federal Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act as well as the Illinois Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Also named in the lawsuit were five businesses allegedly reselling products bearing the ZKITTLEZ marks. Pursuant to the parties’ agreement, the court enjoined Terphogz from using the ZKITTLEZ marks.

This case is just one of many involving the use of famous candy or snack brands on cannabis products. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued joint cease-and-desist letters to six companies “marketing edible products containing Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in packaging that is almost identical to many snacks and candy children eat, including Doritos tortilla chips, Cheetos cheese-flavored snacks, and Nerds Candy” (Press Release, FTC, FTC Sends Cease and Desist Letters with FDA to Companies Selling Edible Products Containing Delta-8 THC in Packaging Nearly Identical to Food Children Eat, July 5, 2023). In 2022, Nerds-maker Ferrara sued Akimov LLC over its use of the NERDS and TROLLI trademarks on cannabis-related goods (Ferrara Candy Co. v. Akimov LLC, No. 22-CV-80768-RAR (S.D. Fla. Oct. 27, 2022)). As in the Wrigley case, the court enjoined the defendant from using Ferrara’s trademarks.

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