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Coachella goes after weed grower for ‘TM breach’

Ahead of this weekend’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, promoter AEG Presents has sent a letter of claim to a California cannabis grower for alleged trademark infringement.

Lowell Farms LLC, which produces the Lowell Smokes brand of pre-rolled joints, is accused of “running a promotion which features the Coachella intellectual property and is clearly intended to trade on the substantial goodwill and reputation earned by AEG over the years” after announcing the launch of a limited-edition ‘Coachella Blend’ (pictured) to tie in with the festival.

The blend would only have been available to buy during Coachella and sold exclusively through a cannabis dispensary in Palm Springs, around 20 miles from the festival site in Indio.

The letter, posted by Lowell on its Instagram account, demands the company “remove ALL references to Coachella” – emphasis theirs – “from your […] social network accounts (including any use of Coachella-related hashtags), as well as printed materials and press releases” and “cease and desist from further use of the unlicensed Coachella intellectual property”.

“Lowell Farms has no desire to get into a prolonged legal battle with such an established and well-funded company”

In a statement, Lowell says it has “no desire to get into a prolonged legal battle with such an established and well-funded company” but is “working to find a creative solution to deliver this special blend to festivalgoers”. The LA Times suggests the blend will simply be renamed – to ‘#NotChilla’.

AEG last month filed a similar lawsuit against Urban Outfitters, alleging the clothing company made unauthorised use of its brand on a line of clothing. It remains to be seen how it will feel about a “forward-thinking” cannabis festival running concurrently with, and less than three miles away from, Coachella, and clearly marketed at festivalgoers.

Its name? Kushella. Watch this space…

 


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Coachella sues Urban Outfitters

The Coachella Music Festival and its promoter, Goldenvoice, are taking legal action against clothing retailer Urban Outfitters, which they accuse of making unauthorised use of the Coachella name to sell clothing to its festivalgoers.

A trademark lawsuit, Coachella Music Festival, LLC et al v. Urban Outfitters, Inc. et al, filed yesterday in the Central District Court of California, alleges Urban Outfitters and its Free People subsidiary sold clothes marketed under the Coachella name with the intention of trading on the festival’s success, despite not having permission to do so.

Urban Outfitters is also accused of purchasing an online keyword to drive shoppers searching for “Coachella” to the Free People site, writes Law360.

Goldenvoice last year succeeded in another trademark dispute, compelling small LA festival Hoodchella to rebrand as ‘Noise in the Hood’.

 


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