RAW Rolling Papers Producer Reigns Triumphant in Trademark Dispute


A brand new choice of an attraction in a trademark dispute, initiated by the RAW Rolling Papers producer, has widespread implications for the rolling paper trade that dismiss the declare that rolling papers are “drug paraphernalia.” It’s additionally excellent news for non-cannabis-touching firms that wish to shield emblems.

BBK, producer of RAW rolling papers, announced on April 9 that it gained an attraction in its trademark dispute with Delaware-based Central Coast Agriculture, Inc. (CCA) because the Court docket sided with the favored rolling paper model on its counterclaim.

In line with the lawsuit, CCA’s employment of the “RAW GARDEN” title for its hashish merchandise, was an infringement of BBK’s “RAW”  trademark. Up to now, a number of different manufacturers have allegedly tried to tear off the likeness of the RAW trademark in a technique or one other. RAW GARDEN applied for a trademark at the USA Patent and Trademark Workplace (USPTO), starting in 2017 with subsequent functions.

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court docket of Appeals issued rulings in two choices on April 1 that might reshape the panorama of trademark legislation throughout the hashish trade: The district court docket dismissed BBK’s false promoting declare and dominated in favor of CCA on BBK’s trademark claims. However the district court docket additionally dominated in favor of BBK on its counterclaim to invalidate a number of of CCA’s trademark functions and on CCA’s counterclaim to cancel BBK’s trademark functions for illegal use.

“BBK could be very happy with the end result of this attraction. Setting a precedent for the rolling paper trade, the appeals court docket rejected the suggestion that rolling papers are ‘drug paraphernalia’ and reaffirmed the trial court docket’s choice that BBK’s RAW® rolling papers and different RAW® smoking merchandise should not prohibited by the Managed Substances Act,” a spokesman for BBK mentioned in an April 9 press release.

“It’s equally vital that the appeals court docket confirmed the trial court docket accurately invalidated the trademark functions improperly filed by CCA,” the spokesman continued. “After years of pursuing efforts out and in of court docket to guard shoppers from being confused and misled by CCA’s unauthorized use of the RAW® title for CCA’s hashish merchandise, BBK seems to be ahead to a remaining decision after a trial to a jury.”

RAW Black rolling papers have been voted the best by the Every day Excessive Membership, in addition to upvoted to the highest within the feedback on a Reddit thread, “What papers do y’all usually contemplate the very best?”

Benzinga reports that the rulings might “reshape the panorama of trademark legislation throughout the hashish trade.” Learn the attraction ruling in its full textual content here.

The appellate court docket’s rulings despatched BBK’s trademark infringement declare towards CCA again to the district court docket for a full trial.

BBK representatives say the ruling protects shoppers from confusion and deceptive practices related to the unauthorized use of the “RAW” title on rolling paper and different cannabis-adjacent merchandise.

BBK’s workforce is getting ready to current its case to a jury for a remaining decision, nevertheless this ruling has widespread implications on how lawsuits within the trade will play out.

Not RAW Rolling Paper’s First Rodeo

There are different authorized precedents for alleged trademark infringements concerning RAW Rolling Papers. RAW additionally gained a game-changing lawsuit in 2023 when a rolling paper model Republic Tobacco appeared to tear off RAW’s signature emblem design with similarities in shade, form, and so forth.

RAW (BBK/HBI) issued a statement in regards to the remaining decision of the seven-year court docket battle with Republic Tobacco which had introduced a sequence of lawsuits towards HBI Worldwide, the corporate that owns the RAW model.

The ruling on June 5, 2023 finalizes that jury’s choices after a weeks-long trial, ruling that Republic Tobacco willfully infringed on RAW’s copyright and commerce costume, and awarded to HBI damages of greater than $1 million. 

When it features a prejudgment curiosity award, the Court docket ordered Republic to pay RAW almost $1.5 million in complete compensation. Right now’s conclusion got here after either side agreed on authorized charges that RAW pays to Republic primarily based on solely one in every of Republic’s multitude of claims.

In that case, the decide dominated that “Republic requests the disgorgement of each cent of revenue from HBI’s RAW model throughout that point interval… This extraordinary request, nevertheless, shouldn’t be supported by ample proof, neither is it applicable contemplating the opposite components of the case.”

RAW has additionally been concerned in advocacy efforts. As an example in August 2023, the model  introduced a donation of $100,000 to The JUSTÜS Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit group that’s devoted to facilitating the entry of legacy hashish operators to the authorized hashish market. The RAW Seeds Fellowships goal to supply alternatives to legacy hashish operators to navigate the authorized hashish market.

The brand new ruling provides one other dimension to the protections that RAW Rolling Papers and BBK are entitled to, pending the attraction’s remaining ruling.

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