A judge ordered a California-based CBD company to pay actor Clint Eastwood $2,029,245.07 on August 2, 2022, according to a report from Law 360. The company Garrapata, LLC filed a Complaint
v. Norok Innovation, Inc. and Eric Popowicz et al alleging trademark infringement. Garrapata owns all the trademarks related to Mr. Eastwood and the name and personal rights of Mr. Eastwood, apart from those it grants in relation to the promotion and exploitation of the films it makes.
The article noted that Eastwood filed the infringement claims against Norok and Popowicz in a January 2021 lawsuit, which was his second lawsuit in less than a year against the pair. Law360 reported that Eastwood filed its first lawsuit against Norok and Popowicz in July 2020, alleging similar claims, but the action was voluntarily dismissed in November 2020. The company makes CBD products under the name Terahemp.
The judge’s order said: “The defendants and their officers, agents, employees, representatives and all persons acting in concert or participating with them, are permanently bound.
and is required to (1) engage in or perform directly or indirectly the use of Clint Eastwood’s name, likeness, and person to promote and sell any product, and (2) use any name, word, designation, or symbol that consists by incorporating in whole or in part, or otherwise similar to Clint or Eastwood or any other common law trademark owned by Garrapata or Mr. Eastwood in any buried code, hidden fields, meta tags, search terms, keywords, key terms, pages that generate hits or any other device used. , the intent or ability to cause any website or websites to be listed by any Internet search engine in response to any search that includes terms identical or similar to the Clint Eastwood brand.
The original complaint alleged that the CBD company would strategically place Mr. Eastwood within blog posts and web page meta descriptions (content that describes and summarizes the content of a given web page for the benefit of users and search engines to locate) as a means of promoting it. CBD products and lead customers to an online marketplace that sells CBD products, but without the knowledge or permission of Mr. Eastwood. The complaint also alleged that Eastwood has a long history of refusing third-party licenses and has never partnered with any CBD company.
The complaint described the method, writing: “By using Mr. Eastwood’s name in hidden meta tags, the defendants have figuratively posted a sign bearing Mr. Eastwood’s trademark in front of their online store to attract consumers and led the consuming public to believe that Mr. Eastwood is associated with and/or endorses the online CBD marketplace and/or the CBD products sold there, when in fact no such association exists.”
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This is the second time Eastwood has won such a case. In October 2021, a judge ordered a Lithuanian company called Mediatonas to pay the actor $6 million for publishing a fabricated interview with him to promote and sell CBD products. The actor reportedly asked for $30 million, but the judge awarded $6 million, saying that was roughly the amount of money he would make if he endorsed.