Toronto Maple Leafs hockey franchise is going after Snoop Dogg. Owners for the NHL team recently received an extension of time to oppose two applications by Snoop Dogg for “LEAFS BY SNOOP,” filed under the rapper’s real name, Calvin Broadus. Snoop wants to register LEAFS BY SNOOP in Class 034 for “cigarette lighters not made of precious metals,” claiming he’s been using the mark in products since 2015.
LEAFS BY SNOOP and the stylized mark both appear in the patent application. Snoop filed two other applications, in addition to the abovementioned. One for the word mark LEAFS BY SNOOP and the second for the sylized depiction. The Second Applications also feature the following list of products:
001: Potting soil, plant growing media containing coconut scraps, growing media for plants, namely, agricultural and horticultural organic potting soil made from coconut coir
024: Hemp fabric
031: Unprocessed hemp seeds; hemp seeds; agricultural seeds
034: Blunts, namely blunt wraps, blunts made from hemp, namely blunt wraps made from hemp
Writing for Forbes, Deborah Greaves doesn’t foresee the second applications passing the “USPTO’s smell test.”
The USPTO maintains an ongoing stance to deny trademark registrations related to cannabis products, which are still illegal federally. However, the case on the first Application is different. She believes opposing the First Application “will be no easy feat for the Maple Leafs.” Here’s why.
The word “leafs” as a plural of “leaf” is unique to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Other plural uses of the word leaf on the trademark registry use the word “leaves.” The Maple Leafs also claim that Snoop’s logo for LEAFS BY SNOOP is similar to their maple leaf logo in the Toronto Maple Leafs mark.
“Registration of an applied for mark will be barred when it so resembles a registered mark that a potential consumer will likely be confused, mistake, or deceived as to the source of the goods of the new applicant versus the existing registrant,” writes Ms. Graves.
Another obstacle facing the Maple Leafs in proving that Mr. Snoop is stepping on their patent toes is the fact that Snoop ain’t getting into the hockey business. While the Maple Leafs are registered under Class 41 for entertainment, Snoop is registered in Class 34 for cigarette lighters. Interestingly, a third party owns the registration for MAPLE LEAF for tobacco products in Class 34.
Finally, “it is inconceivable that a consumer of Toronto Maple Leafs products would believe that cigarette lighters branded as LEAFS BY SNOOP are derived from the same source,” Ms. Greaves writes.