Nerds maker says THC-infused candies violate trademark rights, endanger kids

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REUTERS/Mike Segar

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  • Ferrara Candy Co says Florida seller copied Nerds, Trolli brands
  • Lawsuit says edibles create health risk, especially for children

(Reuters) - Ferrara Candy Co sued a company in Florida federal court on Monday for allegedly copying the branding of its Nerds and Trolli candies with weed-infused edibles.

Boca Raton, Florida-based Top Five Wholesale's THC candies use identical trademarks to Ferrara's and will likely cause consumer confusion, Ferrara's lawsuit said.

Top Five did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit. Ferrara said in a statement that it works to prevent THC-infused copycats by cooperating with law enforcement, investigating dispensaries and taking legal action "where and when necessary."

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Ferrara and other candy companies including Hershey Co and Mars Inc's Wrigley have filed several lawsuits over marijuana-infused lookalike products. Two other companies agreed to a court order that blocks them from selling Nerds-branded edibles earlier this year after they were sued by Ferrara in Chicago.

Ferrara's Monday lawsuit, filed in West Palm Beach, said Top Five sells counterfeit THC-infused versions of its Nerds Ropes and Trolli gummy candies.

The lawsuit also said Top Five's candies have "more than 60 adult servings" of THC, creating "a health hazard to the consuming public, especially children."

Ferrara also said the sale of recreational marijuana is illegal in Florida.

The company asked the court to block sales of the edibles and make Top Five destroy the allegedly infringing products, and requested damages of $2 million per counterfeited trademark.

The case is Ferrara Candy Co v. Akimov LLC d/b/a Top Five Wholesale, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, No. 9:22-cv-80768.

For Ferrara: Maria Ruiz of Kasowitz Benson Torres

For Top Five: not available

(NOTE: This story was updated to clarify Ferrara's role as manufacturer and distributor of Trolli candies in the United States.)

Read more:

Wrigley sues makers of candy-copying weed products over trademarks

Hershey settles infringement lawsuits with two edible pot companies

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Blake Brittain reports on intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Reach him at blake.brittain@thomsonreuters.com