How Gorilla Glue Lost its Groove
The popular hybrid strain Gorilla Glue #4 was California’s most popular strain of 2016, according to the Eaze State of Cannabis report. In fact, it was so popular that Eaze sold enough Gorilla Glue #4 to roll more than 30,000 pre-roll joints last year. However, the strain became too popular for its own good.
A six-month long case between the makers of Gorilla, the actual glue company, and the growers of the cannabis strain has finally ended in a settlement: Gorilla Glue, the strain, has officially lost its name.
The lawsuit began in March when the Ohio-based Gorilla glue company went after GG Strains, the original breeders of the Gorilla Glue #4 strain, for trademark violation and potentially having damaged the glue company’s family-oriented reputation.
The Gorilla Glue Co. and GG Strains LLC reached a settlement in the trademark infringement case the Ohio-based glue maker brought against the Las Vegas-based developer of marijuana strains, court records show.
Under the settlement agreement, GG Strains and its licensees of the company’s numbered strains initially named Gorilla Glue #4 (additionally #1 and #5) will have to transition away from that name, any gorilla imagery and similarities to Gorilla Glue Co. trademarks by Sept. 19, 2018, according to documents filed in federal court for Ohio’s southern district.
GG Strain’s branding and gorilla logo were “confusingly similar” to the glue company’s own product, Gorilla argued. In response, GG Strains alleged that Gorilla’s argument was ridiculous, given how dissimilar glue and weed are from one another.
“It is a business that should be held to the same standards of fair play in branding that apply to all other businesses,” said Gorilla Glue’s attorney Thomas F. Hankinson. “GG strains not only took the name, but intentionally traded on Gorilla Glue’s reputation for high-quality adhesives’ ‘stickiness.'”
While the outcome of the lawsuit was unfavorable for GG Strains, the case itself shows that cannabis is being treated as a significant player among other well-established businesses.
While the companies are based in opposite parts of the country (GG Strains is located in Arizona), the suit was eventually brought in Ohio.
The glue company claimed that one or more Ohio residents purchased clothing through the cannabis company’s website in order to prove that the Gorilla Glue strain could affect the glue’s national business. However, GG strains claimed that those online purchases were made by executives at the Gorilla glue company as bait to bring in court. The glue company denied that claim.
All in all, the settlement mandates that the cannabis company change the name of the strains Gorilla Glue #1, 4, and 5. GG Strains will also have a year to rebrand and remove the gorilla imagery from their advertising, as well as give up their domain name gorillaglue4.com.
Moreover, any dispensaries that carry GG strains branding will also be mandated to remove gorilla imagery and the word gorilla from their stores. But no matter how much the settlement aims to erase the history and branding of the Gorilla Glue strain, consumers will always remember the strain for its original name.