Oklahoma is one in every of various states that permits the sale of medical hashish. The excessive shopper demand, mixed with comparatively low license charges and obstacles to entry available in the market, has led to reportedly fierce competitors amongst dispensaries.
One dispensary, operated by “DOK Company,” sought to set itself aside from the rivals by making an attempt to commerce on an present firm’s identify through the use of a “pun.” Particularly, DOK determined to go by the identify “Dank of Oklahoma” (a pun on the established “Financial institution of Oklahoma”). “Dank” is a slang time period that’s used to point that hashish is of notably top quality and/or efficiency.
BOKF, NA owns trademark rights masking “Financial institution of Oklahoma.” Not surprisingly, BOKF, working within the conservative and extremely regulated banking and finance trade, didn’t discover the Dank of Oklahoma pun to be a laughing matter. It filed swimsuit in opposition to DOK alleging 5 claims, together with trademark infringement, trademark dilution, unfair competitors and unjust enrichment.
Simply three months after BOKF filed swimsuit, the events resolved the matter “amicably” by, amongst different issues, agreeing to the entry of a everlasting injunction, which enjoins DOK from utilizing “Dank of Oklahoma” and some other brand or identify that might be confusingly much like “Financial institution of Oklahoma.”
There are classes right here for each mature corporations that need to defend their good identify and repute, in addition to small startup hashish corporations. For mature corporations, you will need to hold a watch out for these “pun” fashion names by hashish corporations and understand that there are authorized steps that corporations can take to guard themselves. Moreover, as many hashish corporations are small and comparatively new, a fast settlement will seemingly be attainable. For hashish startups, the lesson is that even when you assume your intelligent identify is humorous, whether it is too near a reliable firm, you could not simply be attracting new enterprise but in addition a pricey lawsuit.
The case is BOKF NA v. DOK Corp., case quantity 4:20-cv-00100, in U.S. District Courtroom for the Northern District of Oklahoma.