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Cheech Marin Sues Coffee Company For Using His Name

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By Ryan Naumann

“Cheech and Chong” star Cheech Marin has slapped a New Jersey coffee company with a federal lawsuit, demanding an injunction against them.

According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Richard “Cheech” Marin has filed suit against Steven Chiocchi and his company Cheech’s Own, LLC. His company, Koo Boo Banana, is also a plaintiff to the lawsuit.

The complaint states, “Over the course of fifty years, Richard “Cheech” Marin has enjoyed renown as one of the world’s most famous comedians. Both his name and likeness are instantly recognizable in media and popular culture. Originally known as half of the nationally and internationally famous comic duo, “Cheech & Chong,”Both with Tommy Chong and individually, performing as “Cheech,” Plaintiff has continuously been in the public eye since at least 1971.”

The suit continues, “He is known as a writer, voice-over artist and aficionado of fine arts (with a focus on Chicano Art), certain beverages, and, of course, cannabis and THC products (often associated with his early “stoner” comedy)."

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Cheeh accuses Chiocchi of running a coffee business named “Cheech’s Own”. The company operates out of a New Jersey coffee shop and sells product online.

The comedian says his company has taken out a trademark for “Cheech”, which is pending with the Trademark Office.

Cheech accuses them of using the name to profit off his years of hard work. He says they used “Cheech’s Own” in an attempt to make it appear he is affiliated with them.

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He adds, “Defendants market their products via various social media platforms, including at their website, “cheechsown.com.” Defendants’ social media sites include a proprietary “cheechsown” Instagram page and Defendants use variants of Plaintiff Cheech’s name in hashtags that include #cheechsown (which includes images of Cheech & Chong); #cheechyoself; #cheechsowncoffeeshop; #cheechsowncafe; #cheechsowncoldbrew, among others.

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He accuses the company of continuing to use the name, despite having their trademark application rejected. He claims the board stated, ““The applied-for mark consists of or includes matter which may falsely suggest a connection with Cheech Marin . . . Cheech Marin is so well known that consumers would presume a connection.”

Cheech is suing for an injunction against the company, all profits made and unspecified damages.

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