Many in California and across the United States eagerly stock up on their favorite Girl Scout cookies each Spring. A cannabis-edibles company based in California was noticed for utilizing the names of the popular treats to their advantage. The edibles company compared the taste of their cannabis-infused cookies with the ones made by the Girl Scouts.
Kaneh Co., a company based in San Diego, emailed out a pitch that described Kaneh’s cookies as tasting similar to some of the popular Girl Scout cookies, but with an elevated flavor profile. Although a publicist for Kaneh Co. claims that the comparison between their cookies and the ones made by the Girl Scouts would not be used in print or online advertising, the company may still face some legal backlash. The Girl Scouts’ legal team has noted that components of their cookie program is their intellectual property and cannot be used by other organizations.
The Girl Scout organization’s spokesperson Mike Lopes says they consider the names of their cookie types to be trademarks. The Girl Scouts contend that utilizing the cookie names to advertise for another product is trademark misappropriation. In response, the Girl Scouts’ legal team has sent a cease-and-desist letter to Kaneh Co. In the past, other cannabis-edibles companies have tried to use the Girl Scouts’ cookie names similarly and have also been asked to stop by the organization’s lawyers.
The law typically defines intellectual property as creations of the mind, and includes copyrights, trademarks and patents. The Girls Scouts organization is well-known throughout the United States, and some of the Girl Scouts’ cookie names, such as Thin Mint, are trademarked. If another business uses Girl Scouts’ trademarks in advertising, this is an infringement of Girl Scouts’ intellectual property rights. A lawyer might form a cease-and-desist letter or file a civil suit against another business that uses protected names. If it can be proven that the business used the intellectual property for their gain, they may have to pay damages.