Snoop Dogg has become embroiled in a legal quarrel with one of the NHL’s biggest brands after the Toronto Maple Leafs opposed the rapper’s bid to trademark his new cannabis company.
Snoop, referred to in the legal paperwork for the trademark by his real name Calvin Broadus, was attempting to protect the intellectual property and branding of his marijuana start-up Leafs by Snoop and filed for a trademark in July last year.
The Maple Leafs insist that the ‘unusual spelling of Leafs could lead to confusion’ and officially filed their opposition in December.
Toronto’s ice hockey franchise also had objections to the branding and logos being proposed by Mr Broadus’ new enterprise.
"The similarity between the marks is exacerbated by the design elements of the LEAFS BY SNOOP Mark.
"As shown below, Applicant’s design mark uses a white font enclosed within a wide-shaped leaf with three large segments at the top of the mark, a design echoing and highly similar to the MAPLE LEAFS’ design marks."
The Maple Leafs were keen to emphasise that they had long-standing trademarks over the peculiar spelling of Leafs and felt Snoop Dogg’s business, which launched in Colorado in November 2015, was infringing on their rights.
"The Toronto Maple Leafs hockey club has been an iconic member of the National Hockey League (the “NHL”) since the league’s inception in 1917, and, as such, is one of the NHL’s famed “Original Six” clubs. The Maple Leafs have won the Stanley Cup – the NHL’s championship trophy – thirteen times in their history. The Maple Leafs recently celebrated their 100th anniversary. The Maple Leafs have a large fan base throughout the United States and Canada.
"Over 90 years ago, the Maple Leafs adopted as one of their key brand names the trademark LEAFS. They have used their LEAFS mark in United States commerce since 1927. The LEAFS mark reflects a highly unusual and distinctive spelling, since the plural of the English language word “leaf” is usually presented as “leaves,” not “leafs.”"