The Battle of the Interlocking Os: Kool Cigarettes vs. Bloom Marijuana

Steven T. Lowe

3D illustration of a folder, focus on a tab with the word infringement. Conceptual image of copyright law

On June 3rd, 2021, a California federal judge rejected a cannabis company’s attempt to escape a trademark infringement suit brought by the manufacturer of Kool Cigarettes. Judge Otis D. Wright II ruled against Capna Intellectual (“Capana”) a Los Angeles- Based cannabis company, holding that the interlocking Os at the heart of Capana’s “Bloom” logo presented on its products was similar enough to the 88-year-old logo of Kool menthol cigarettes.

The manufacturer of Kool Cigarettes filed its trademark infringement suit in January 2021, claiming that the Capana Bloom emblem was a “transparent rip-off” of the iconic menthol brand. The company accused Bloom of trademark infringement, trademark dilution, and false designation of origin in violation of the Lanham Act, as well as unfair competition under California’s Business and Professions Code.

Capana only sought to dismiss the dilution claim. While Capana made creative arguments about whether it was the entire Kool brand or just the intertwined Os at its center that was famous, the arguments were not creative enough to sway Judge Wright II.

Instead, Kool’s argument that consumers could be confused as to which smoking product was a menthol cigarette and which was cannabis, even if the colors and text of the “Bloom” and “Kool” logos were different, carried the day. Accordingly, Judge Wright II’s decision now allows ITG to proceed with its trademark infringement lawsuit against Capana.

ITG is represented by Jon David Cantor and Abirami Gnanadesigan of Dykema Gossett LLP.

Capna is represented by Joshua M Masur of Zuber Lawler LLP.

The case is ITG Brands LLC v. Capna Intellectual, case number 2:21-cv-00818, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

* Lowe & Associates (“The Firm”) is an entertainment and business law firm located in Beverly Hills, California. The Firm has extensive experience handling cases involving trademark law, having provided top-quality legal services to its clients since 1991. The Firm is recognized for its many achievements, including successfully litigating many high-profile cases.

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