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Canadian studio wins ‘Treehouse’ logo copyright dispute against Oklahoma cannabis dispensary

FILE PHOTO: This July 22, 2019 file photo shows Treehouse Dispensary's storefront location in Tulsa, Okla.
FILE PHOTO: This July 22, 2019 file photo shows Treehouse Dispensary's storefront location in Tulsa, Okla. (John Clanton/Tulsa World via AP)

A Canadian animation studio and media company owned by Corus Entertainment — Global News’ parent company — won a default judgment against an Oklahoma cannabis dispensary over its copyright infringement of a long-used children’s television program logo.

The ruling was granted after the cannabis retailer, Treehouse Dispensary LLC, failed to plead or defend itself against the legal action, according to an Oklahoma court’s judgment.

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The Toronto-based studio, Nelvana Enterprises Inc., first filed the lawsuit in a U.S. federal court in July of this year, alleging that the dispensary “wilfully copied and is using a confusing similar imitation” of their children’s television Treehouse program logo, which has been used since the 1990s.

The court’s default judgment orders the dispensary chain to pay Nelvana’s claims, which include permanently stopping their use of any Treehouse marks and logos and the payment of over $74,000 in legal fees.

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Nelvana’s Treehouse logo.
Nelvana’s Treehouse logo. Corus Entertainment

Nelvana’s Treehouse logo, pictured above, was alleged to have been used by the chain at its various locations across Oklahoma, as well as on the packaging and marketing of its cannabis products.

Pictured below are several instances of the logo being used in the cannabis chain’s promotions, signage, products and labelling on packages.

FILE PHOTO: This July 22, 2019 file photo shows Treehouse Dispensary's storefront location in Tulsa, Okla.
FILE PHOTO: This July 22, 2019 file photo shows Treehouse Dispensary's storefront location in Tulsa, Okla. (John Clanton/Tulsa World via AP)
FILE PHOTO: This advertisement for Treehouse Dispensary can be seen by drivers on the Broken Arrow Expressway in Tulsa on Monday, July 22, 2019.
FILE PHOTO: This advertisement for Treehouse Dispensary can be seen by drivers on the Broken Arrow Expressway in Tulsa on Monday, July 22, 2019. (John Clanton/Tulsa World via AP)
A picture of the Treehouse logo being used in one of the Treehouse dispensary’s locations in Midwest City, Oklahoma.
A picture of the Treehouse logo being used in one of the Treehouse dispensary’s locations in Midwest City, Oklahoma. Treehouse Dispensary via Facebook
A picture of the Treehouse logo being used on the floor mat in one of Treehouse dispensaries’ locations in Muskogee, Oklahoma.
A picture of the Treehouse logo being used on the floor mat in one of Treehouse dispensaries’ locations in Muskogee, Oklahoma. Treehouse Muskogee via Facebook

Ron Durbin, the attorney representing the dispensary chain, previously said that the business “categorically denies that its logo infringes on any existing trademarks in the United States,” and that it would “vigorously defend” itself in court.

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Durbin has not yet responded to Global News’ request for comment. Global News did, however, get in contact with Treehouse Dispensary, but they have not yet commented on the ruling.

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Durbin previously said that the dispensary chain made an effort to change its logo, as shown in what looks to be the company’s new logo below in a post to social media.

— With files from The Associated Press