The Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League are filing a motion to sue Snoop Dogg for copyright infringement over his logo for Leafs by Snoop. David Lipkus of Kestenberg Siegal Lipkus LLP, also said that Snoop Dogg’s logo may violate Canada’s Cannabis Act marketing rules.
The logo for Leafs by Snoop is a stylized cannabis leaf that vaguely resembles the Toronto Maple Leaf’s logo with a maple leaf, although they represent different plants. Representative of the team claim that the logos are “confusingly similar.”
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“The similarity between the marks is exacerbated by the design elements of the Leafs By Snoop Mark,” a spokesman for the team stated. “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.” In order to win the case, The Maple Leafs would have to prove with evidence that the two logos are close enough to cause confusion.
Shortly after the news, other lawyers chimed in with other concerns about the logo. The Cannabis Act prohibits marketing directed towards minors or marketing that has a direct or indirect celebrity endorsement or testimonial.
Lipkus says it’s definitely a celebrity endorsement. “Our current cannabis legislation essentially shuts down your ability to use these trademarks. You can’t market and advertise with it,” Lipkus said. “So, are you going to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a brand that you can’t even really use? You can’t put it on a billboard. You can’t advertise it. You can’t sponsor a film festival. All you can do is put it in four-point font on a package that’s behind a counter.”
Snoop Dogg’s logo was designed by New York City-based Pentagram, an independently-owned studio that designs top-of-the-line logos. Its clients include Saturday Night Live.