Toys R Us Sues Unlicensed Dispensary in Brooklyn

Toys R Us says the usage tarnishes its "carefully crafted brand."

Last week a lawsuit was filed in a New York Federal court by Toys R Us, also known as Tru Kids, against an unlicensed cannabis dispensary that uses the name Zaza R Us and Nedhal Y. Saleh.

According to Law360, Toys R Us accused the dispensary of copying the toy store’s font and graphics. Toys R Us said in the lawsuit that it sent a letter to the dispensary in January 2023 asking the company to stop using the signage, which copies the Toys R us logo but replaces the star image in the backwards “R” with a cannabis leaf image, and never received a response.

The complaint states,

“ZAZA” is a colloquial term that refers to high-grade strains of cannabis.

The court filing goes on to say that Toys R Us has dedicated immeasurable efforts and resources to ensure that the Toys R Us brand maintains a fun, safe, and kid-friendly image.

“Defendants’ juxtaposition of the TOYS R US Marks with the cannabis-related term ‘ZAZA,’ as well as the Defendants’ smoking and drug-related products, tarnish Plaintiff’s carefully crafted brand,” the company claims.

Toys R Us noted that it has in the past has used several logos in connection with its businesses, including the current logo with letters in distinct bubble font, different colors for each letter, and a reversed R letter. Toys R Us also said it owns multiple trademark registrations for the TOYS R US Marks, including the famous logo discussed in this complaint.

Toys R Us asked the courts to stop Zaza R Us from using the Toys R Us intellectual property, as well as a significant award of damages that includes disgorgement by defendants of any profits, actual damages to Toys R Us, a reasonable royalty payment by defendants, attorneys’ fees, and costs of suit.

The complaint noted that there are two Zaza R Us stores in Brooklyn that sell drug-related goods and services, including pipes, bongs, cannabis, herbal stimulants, novelty items, accessories, snacks, and retail store services.

It is estimated that New York has more than a thousand unlicensed cannabis dispensaries in the city.

Toys R Us went bankrupt in 2017 and shuttered its last physical stores in 2021. However, the company has lately been opening small departments within Macy’s (NYSE: M) stores. The company has projected it would open 400 stores within Macy’s.


Debra Borchardt

Debra Borchardt is the Co-Founder, and Executive Editor of GMR. She has covered the cannabis industry for several years at Forbes, Seeking Alpha and TheStreet. Prior to becoming a financial journalist, Debra was a Vice President at Bear Stearns where she held a Series 7 and Registered Investment Advisor license. Debra has a Master's degree in Business Journalism from New York University.

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