Spotify Successfully Opposes 2 Cannabis-Related Trademark Applications: What You Need to Know


The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) of the United States Patent and Trademark Office has upheld two oppositions filed by Spotify (NYSE: SPOT) against trademark applications filed by US Software Inc. for his cannabis software known as POTIFIER, according to IP Watchdog.

What there is to know: The USTPO said POTIFY’s marks would have diluted and blurred the marks owned by the popular music streaming service.

US Software, which filed the trademark applications in 2017 and 2018, sought to register POTIFY for “downloadable software for use in researching, creating, and making compilations, rankings, ratings, reviews, references and recommendations for medical marijuana dispensaries and medical practices and view and share a user’s location and find, locate and interact with other users and locations, in International Class 9.”

American software was also looking for the trademark for clothing, medical cannabis information, creating an online community for medical cannabis patients and as a platform to create an online community to discuss medical marijuana and plan health services.

Spotify objected to the app, claiming that common law rights to its music and entertainment software, as well as advertising, could be confused with the POTIFY site and confuse consumers.

Spotify also claimed that because “pot” is known as a term for cannabis, confused consumers might associate POTIFY with the promotion of marijuana and therefore tarnish the SPOTIFY brand.

See also: Spotify closes in-house studio, focuses on partnered content: what investors need to know

Why it matters: Although the Trademarks and Lawsuits Appeal Board noted that Spotify already hosts content, such as music and podcasts, related to cannabis, reports Ganjapreneur.

US Software argued that its product was not intended for individual consumers, but rather “for sales systems, telemedicine systems, and enterprise resource planning systems” and “is a primary software platform designed for legal marijuana dispensaries to market and sell their products”.

in addition, POTIFY pointed out that it existed in 2014 before Spotify became famous and that its name comes from the online shopping site Shopify, and not from the streaming platform Spotify.

Ultimately, the board ruled that “because the marks SPOTIFY and POTIFY are used for software products that perform analogous functions, and are so similar in appearance and sound, their commercial impressions are similar even if consumers take different meanings of SPOT and POT”, and it is “inevitable that POTIFY diminishes the distinctiveness of SPOTIFY”.

So Spotify wins.

Photo courtesy of WikiMedia Commons


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