Real-Life Copycat Lesson #15: Lumber Company and Medical Marijuana Dispensary Conflict Over Logo

18 September, 2019

Boise Cascade is an Idaho-based lumber company that makes and distributes wood building materials, with a distribution center and 135 employees in Westfield, MA. According to the lumber company, they have been using their “tree-in-a-circle” logo for more than 55 years. They’ve taken issue with New England Treatment Access (NETA), a recreational and medical marijuana dispensary with locations in Brookline and Northampton, MA, for using a similar tree in a circle logo to brand their business. Both companies’ logos feature a tree enclosed in a circle, in nearly identical shades of green.  Boise Cascade has brought a trademark infringement suit against NETA, claiming that the similarity in the logos will dilute, weaken and tarnish the reputation of their  brand. They also believe that the logo is likely to cause confusion or mistake among consumers as to the sponsorship or approval of NETA’s cannabis business.