Vancouver pot shop owner ordered to pay $40K for copying Subway

The cannabis dispensary store, located at 1024 Clark Drive in East Vancouver. (Instagram/Budwayonclark)

The owner of a Vancouver pot shop, Budway, has been ordered to destroy all of its signage after being sued by the Subway franchise for trademark infringement.

According to a federal court decision issued June 10, William Matovu is to pay $40,000 for tarnishing the Subway franchise’s reputation by copying its branding.

Matovu had not mounted any defence against the suit.

The store’s mascot is a cannabis-filled sandwich with bloodshot eyes. The link between the dispensary’s mascot and Subway is “inescapable,” said Justice Nicholas McHaffie in his ruling.

“It’s the way, bud” appears below the mascot in pictures on Budway’s social media and at its 1024 Clark Drive store.

The shop’s logo also uses a font, colour pattern and arrow motif similar to that of Subway’s, McHaffie said.

People commenting on the shop’s social media posts have already made the link between Budway and Subway, the ruling stated.

As of publishing this article, photos of the sandwich mascot and logo are still up on Budway’s Instagram.


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