Cannabis dispensary Budway told to drop name after Subway sues over trademark | CBC News – News Nation USA


No one ever accused Budway cannabis dispensary of being subtle.

The Vancouver store’s logo features light and dark green letters with arrows on them set against an oval background — a nod to the Subway sandwich chain that a Federal Court judge has found too overt. 

Budway’s mascot is a seemingly stoned, joint-smoking, marijuana-filled submarine sandwich whose motto reads: “It’s the way, bud.”

But Justice Nicholas McHaffie says there’s no way Budway can continue infringing on Subway’s trademark.

The decision is a primer on trademark law and a reminder that a friendly homage to a well-known brand can lead into dangerous legal territory. 

The judge ordered Budway’s owner to pay the chain $40,000 this week and to destroy any signs, goods, packages and labels marked with the cannabis dispensary’s not-so-distinctive logo.

Although there was no evidence the tiny company actually ate into Subway’s annual $1.8 billion Cdn sales in this country, McHaffie found Budway had effectively tried to borrow on Subway’s reputation to sell its products.

His analysis of the case began with the resemblance between the two logos.

“In each case, the word element of the mark is similar, with the similarities in letters and pronunciation between SUBWAY and BUDWAY being self-evident,” McHaffie wrote.

“The fact that ‘budway’ is not itself a word means that it would tend to be read in a manner to connote the common word ‘subway.’”

‘Both parties offer foodstuffs and edible products’

McHaffie is the same judge who ordered the Herbs “R” Us Wellness Society to pay $30,000 to Toys “R” Us Canada last year after a similar challenge.

Subway sued Budway cannabis dispensary for infringing on its trademark. The judge has ordered Budway to pay $40,000 to the sandwich chain. (CBC)

In that case, McHaffie found that Herbs “R” Us was using the trademark in a way that might depreciate goodwill attached to the toy manufacturer.

But he said in

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