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Cannabis Companies Agree to Dismiss Trademark Dispute Over “Veritas”

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Parties involved in a trademark lawsuit regarding a common law trademark for “veritas” in relation to cannabis products reached a settlement, according to a stipulation for dismissal filed on Monday in the District of Colorado. Carrick-Harvest LLC, which does business as Veritas Fine Cannabis, filed the trademark lawsuit against Veritas Farms Inc. in July 2020.

The plaintiff argued that it has used the common law trademarks since 2016 and has filed five applications for trademarks using “veritas.” Carrick-Harvest’s claims in its complaint included trademark infringement, false designation of origin, unfair competition, and cybersquatting. The defendant has filed multiple motions attempting to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing in its October 2020 motion that the plaintiff’s claims were not sufficient to receive the requested relief, as they only cited unregistered common law trademarks. Additionally, Veritas Farms alleged that the plaintiff failed to state a claim for relief. 

Earlier this year, Magistrate Judge Michael E. Hegarty recommended that the court dismiss the claims. The judge cited that federal trademark law only protects businesses and trademarks that are legal under federal law, noting that before the 2018 Farm Bill the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office would not have considered granting a trademark to a cannabis-related company. 

In this recommendation, Hegarty concluded that the plaintiff did not show that its use of the trademarks, despite allegations that it had promoted the marks, constituted a use in commerce. The judge also disagreed with claims from the plaintiff that there would be a likelihood of confusion. 

Monday’s filing did not provide any details about the stipulation, except that the parties each agreed to a settlement and a co-existence agreement which included dismissal of this case as long as the plaintiff and defendant agree to the terms of the settlement. 

Veritas Farms is represented by Akerman LLP and Carrick-Harvest is represented by Greenspoon Marder LLP.

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