Shared interests usually bring people together, but in the case of Snoop Dogg vs. one Canadian hockey team, the opposite is true. A similarity in logos and names have caused the Toronto Maple Leafs to sue Snoop Dogg’s Leafs by Snoop, according to the Independent.
In a lawsuit filed in the U.S., the Toronto hockey team alleges it has a trademark on the word “leaf” and the maple leaf pattern that comprises their logo. The Maple Leafs allege the “unusual spelling of Leafs could lead to confusion,” wrote in their opposition.
“The similarity between the marks is exacerbated by the design elements of the LEAFS BY SNOOP Mark,” reads the lawsuit. “As shown below, Applicant’s design mark uses a white font enclosed within a wide-shaped leaf with three large segments at the top of the mark, a design echoing and highly similar to the MAPLE LEAFS’ design marks.”
— Tobias Hellquist (@Hellqvisttri) January 31, 2019
Even though Snoop Dogg’s artistic catalogue is resplendent in odd spellings—look no further than his name—the Maple Leafs insist their long-standing association with the spelling takes precedent.
“Over 90 years ago, the Maple Leafs adopted as one of their key brand names the trademark LEAFS. They have used their LEAFS mark in United States commerce since 1927. The LEAFS mark reflects a highly unusual and distinctive spelling, since the plural of the English language word “leaf” is usually presented as “leaves,” not “leafs.”
For what it’s worth, the design team behind Leafs by Snoop insinuates the branding has much more to do with California than Canada. Pentagram, the design team in question, writes on its website the goal was “to establish a brand that avoided clichés for a more sophisticated image that would still represent fun and a good time.”
“The identity centers on an iconic marijuana leaf playfully constructed of jewel-like facets, accompanied by elegant packaging that is layered with laid-back California cool,” Pentagram added.