Snoop Dogg could soon be in a dog fight with the NHL over the American rapper's recent attempt to trademark a line of marijuana-related products under Leafs by Snoop, a brand name that sounds too close for comfort to the name of Toronto's hockey team.
As first reported by Rick Westhead at TSN, Snoop Dogg, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, filed an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office on Nov. 17 to sell and market a series of marijuana-related products adorned with a seven-pointed gold leaf and Leafs by Snoop emblazoned over them.
One of the most common types of marijuana leaves often has seven points. The Toronto Maple Leafs hockey club logo, meanwhile, is a maple leaf with 31 points — a nod to the year Maple Leaf Gardens opened, in 1931.
According to the application, Snoop Dogg plans to sell a line of lighters under that brand name. Another trademark application to sell "clothing, namely, hats, shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies," with those words on them, has been abandoned.
The rapper has begun to sell marijuana-related products on his Leafs by Snoop website, describing the venture as "my way of sharing the experience I have with the finest quality cannabis one could imagine."
"Let's medicate, elevate, and put it in the air," the company's mission statement reads.
No comment from MLSE, NHL
According to Westhead's article, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, the company that owns the Toronto NHL team, filed an opposition to Snoop's logo on June 8, asking the Virginia-based Patent and Trademark office for more time to detail its opposition.
MLSE had no comment when contacted CBC.
The NHL's legal team would manage any issues related to patents and trademarks associated with its franchises. But the league's media team did not immediately reply to an email request for comment.
Snoop Dogg's lawyer, Larry Apolzon, also didn't respond to a request for comment.
Snoop Dogg has a long-standing association with marijuana, and recently started to put his money where his mouth is. Earlier this year, he signed an exclusive deal with Canadian medical marijuana producer Tweed Inc. to allow the firm to use his "content and brands" in their products.
He's also a noted hockey fan, regularly attending Anaheim Ducks games in California.
Such trademark squabbles are fairly routine, and are usually settled long before getting to court.
According to the Patent and Trademark Office's searchable database, there are 523 trademark applications that contain the exact phrase "leafs," many of which are merely incorrect spellings of the plural, leaves, in the application.