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Gorilla Glue Marijuana Name At Issue In Trademark Business Litigation

While California has legalized marijuana use for recreational purposes, this means that the possibility of business litigation is present for those who produce it. For example, GG Strains, a company that developed a strain of marijuana, named "Gorilla Glue #4" is embroiled in trademark infringement litigation with the makers of the popular adhesive "Gorilla Glue." The marijuana strain at issue earned this moniker due to its stickiness. It has become a highly valuable and sought-after strain of marijuana, winning various awards at leading competitions.

However, this fame comes at a price. The 18-year-old firm that produces the adhesive Gorilla Glue has sued the GG Strains, claiming that GG Strains' business has infringed upon the Gorilla Glue brand, bringing down its value. On social media, GG Strains has seen much more popularity than the Gorilla Glue adhesive. Most instances of someone using the hashtag #GorillaGlue refers to the marijuana, not the adhesive. Moreover, GG Strains has two times as many followers on Instagram as the Gorilla Glue adhesive company does.

It is posited that legalizing marijuana means that companies producing have to be more original when naming their products. Usually when a business creates a product, it obtains a trademark for the product's name. However, federal trademarks aren't issued for strains of marijuana, as marijuana is still illegal on the federal level.

As of right now, GG Strains has obtained state trademarks from two other states, and is in the application process for a California trademark. Obtaining these trademarks is important, as GG Strains considers itself to be a licensing firm. If someone is growing marijuana in a state where such actions are legal, and it wants to grow "Gorilla Glue #4" it can request certification from the company that developed the GG strain.

Business litigation between Gorilla Glue and GG Strains is ongoing, but it serves to show how complicated things like trademark infringement can be. Because this is a highly complex area of law, those who are looking to trademark a product or those who believe their trademark was infringed upon may want to seek the advice of an attorney.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, "Marijuana brand's success leads to sticky trademark lawsuit," Alex Halperin, Aug. 25, 2017

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