Skittles logo at the entrance to the supermarket trading floor.
Igor Golovniov | SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images
Mars Inc.’s Wrigley unit, the owner of Skittles, Starburst and Life Savers candies, filed complaints against Terphogz, the maker of THC-infused candy Zkittlez on the grounds of trademark infringement.
Lawsuits were filed in U.S. federal courts Illinois and California and in Canada seeking to stop the sale of Zkittlez goods, drug paraphernalia, clothing and merchandise.
“At Mars Wrigley we take great pride in making fun treats that parents can trust giving to their children and children can enjoy safely. We are deeply disturbed to see our trademarked brands being used illegally to sell THC-infused products, and even more so to hear of children ingesting these products and becoming ill,” said a Mars company spokesperson.
“Mars Wrigley took legal action today in both the United States and Canada to send the illicit cannabis industry a strong signal to stop illegally using the company’s brands and products,” Mars said in a press release.
One of the complaints filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois named Terphogz and five Illinois-based companies that purchase, advertise and resell Zkittlez in the state.
In the court filing, the Skittles maker seeks damages from Terphogz and its resellers and asks the court to place a permanent injunction on the sale of any products using Zkittlez marks and hand over any products or merchandise using the marks.
Additionally, Mars Wrigley asks that the Zkittlez website be transferred to Wrigley, all social media accounts be disabled and that Terphogz withdraw its trademark application for the brand.
“Terphogz’s Zkittlez Marks are substantially identical in sight, sound, meaning, and commercial impression to Wrigley’s Skittles Marks,” the filing states. “Terphogz uses the same distinctive red color featured on packages of Skittles candy and the same colors of Skittles candy in connection with advertising, selling, and distributing its Zkittlez goods.”
Wrigley said it is concerned the similiar product names are confusing to consumers, and it could hurt the company’s reputation. The products are infused with THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis.
Terphogz did not immediately respond to a request for comment.