Snoopizzle vs. Torontizzle? Fo shizzle…or, I should say, the Toronto Maple Leafs have recently opposed the filing of one of Snoop Dog’s (or is it Snoop Lion now?) trademarks. The hockey club claims that Snoop’s LEAFS BY SNOOP mark is a little too close to theirs.
Snoop Dog, or as us friends just call him, Calvin Broadus, registered the LEAFS BY SNOOP trademark along with the image seen below. LEAFS BY SNOOP was registered in international class of goods 34 for “[c]igarette lighters not made of precious metals.” Class 34 is exclusively for “Tobacco, Smokers Requisites & Matches” which is seemingly tailor made for Snoop Dog products.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are trying to put out Snoop’s fire. The hockey club has been using its own leaf mark for a long long time. And to rain on Snoop’s parade, the Toronto Maple Leafs claim that this mark will damage their LEAFS mark. They allege the usual: that they have priority because they registered their mark 90 years prior; that the LEAFS BY SNOOP mark is confusingly similar to LEAFS; and that because they are the only owners of marks with an “unusual” spelling of LEAFS (as opposed to “leaves”) people are likely to “be confused into believing that [Snoop’s] LEAFS BY SNOOP mark comes from, or is affiliated with, or is offered with the approval or sponsorship of, [the Maple Leafs].”
The Maple Leafs go on to argue that because they license their LEAFS mark to the NHL for the sale of lighters that they should be afforded protection from Snoops registration. They also bring up the fact that the two marks have a similar design. I don’t know about that one, you be the judge… Either way, there’s no arguing that there are some similarities. But, this won’t prevent Snoop’s registration in my opinion. The Maple Leafs Notice of Opposition was undeniably short and void of any real arguments other than “we spell LEAFS the same way and use a smilar drawing of a maple leaf.” That won’t be enough to stop Snoop. The bread and butter argument that many large companies are able to make in order to stop smaller trademark registrations, that being “you are attempting to play off of the success and recognition of our brand,” is obviously a weak argument for the Maple Leafs to make.
For now, we wait. The Maple Leafs have suspended the proceeding because they are actively engaged in negotiating a settlement with Snoop. Updizzles to follow.