Sour Patch Kids Files Trademark Lawsuit Against THC-Infused “Stoney Patch” Brand
Los Angeles – Mondelez Canada Inc., the creator of the sour gummy candy Sour Patch Kids, has filed a trademark lawsuit against an apparent knockoff called “Stoney Patch”. While Sour Patch Kids are clearly for kids, Stoney Patch is THC-infused candy. Mondelez also takes issue with the fact that the Stoney Patch brand gummies share a striking resemblance to their Sour Patch Kids.
This lawsuit highlights a disturbing trend among THC-infused edible food companies which are creating edibles that are packaged in a way that makes them appear to be candy. In the complaint that Mondelez filed with the US District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles, Mondelez has made allegations that Stoney Patch’s company name, branding, and packaging are all confusingly similar to that of Mondelez’ product, Sour Patch Kids. Mondelez argues that the antics of the copy-cat brand are intentional efforts to trade off the goodwill and reputation of Mondelez as a purveyor of high-quality, family-friendly snacks and candies.
Mondelez has been marketing Sour Patch Kids candies in very distinctive packaging in the United States since 1985. It sells tens of millions of packages of the candy each year. The company has also spent more than $70 million on advertising and promotional activities.
Mondelez has asserted Trademark and Trade Dress Infringement, Trademark Dilution, and Unfair Competition claims. Mondelez is seeking injunctive relief requiring Stoney Patch to change its name and packaging, the destruction of all infringing goods, and monetary relief including attorney fees and costs.
The first step to putting all of that into motion is being able to find Stoney Patch. It appears as though Stoney Patch has taken deliberate measures to avoid being detected by authorities. They do not include a company name on their packaging and also do not have a company website. The only sign of the company found anywhere at the time of the filing of the lawsuit was on Instagram. However, as of the time of this writing the Stoney Patch account has now been removed from Instagram.
There are more and more parody brands coming to light with the recent legalization of cannabis in several states. These brands can be hard to track down and hold responsible for trademark infringement. It is possible that the distributors of these products will be help accountable which may bring this dangerous type of infringement to an end.