Harvest Trademark Dispute Highlights Challenges Faced by Cannabis MSOs
Last year, I wrote about an uptick in trademark litigation between cannabis companies. This type of litigation differs from much of the cannabis-related trademark litigation we’d seen to date, where non-cannabis companies with established brands have sued cannabis companies for trademark infringement.
In particular, I highlighted the litigation between Harvest Dispensaries Cultivation & Production Facilities, LLC, based out of Arizona (referred to as “Harvest of Arizona”), and Harvest on Geary, Inc. / Harvest Off Mission, Inc., based here in San Francisco (referred to as “Harvest of California”), wherein Harvest of Arizona sued Harvest of California in Arizona alleging that Harvest of California stole the HARVEST name and logo.
The portion of the lawsuit filed in 2017 alleged trademark infringement, intentional interference with contract and with business relations, conversion, unfair competition and misappropriation of trade secrets, fraud, violation of Arizona’s Racketeering Act, violation of Arizona’s Consumer Fraud Act and unjust enrichment. In its complaint, Harvest of Arizona, which was established in 2011 and began using the HARVEST mark in 2012, claimed to own retail dispensaries and cultivation/production facilities in Arizona, Nevada, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Florida. It had no presence