PanXchange Launches Crowdfunding Campaign to Protect Itself from Competitor’s Trademark Abuse
PanXchange, Inc, the market structure solution for physical commodities, today launched the first $50,000 tranche of a fundraising campaign to protect its rights to properly and accurately use the English language.
PanXchange presently serves two US markets: industrial hemp and specialty sand (proppants). Thus, its pricing and fundamental analysis reports are titled “PanXchange® Sand: Benchmarks and Analysis” and “PanXchange® Hemp: Benchmarks and Analysis.”
New Leaf Data Services and New Leaf Capital Partners (collectively “NL”) have obtained supplemental registrations from the USPTO for their use of “hemp benchmarks” and “cannabis benchmarks,” respectively. The USPTO registrations are designated supplemental because the word “benchmarks” has been deemed merely descriptive by the USPTO. Until NL can demonstrate to the USPTO that “hemp benchmarks” and “cannabis benchmarks” have “secondary meanings,” they are not entitled to any of the statutory protections, like fully registered marks.
PanXchange was first to market with its benchmark reports in January 2019 and is the only entity benchmarking hemp fiber and hemp grain. However, NL claims to have priority because, in 2016, they purchased the URL hempbenchmarks.com and applied for the supplemental mark. NL is suing PanXchange for trademark infringement, attempting to claim that PX infringes on the goodwill and reputation NL has garnered in the nascent market.
PanXchange has not been able to find any examples of confusion between the two companies and the services they provide. The crowdfunding campaign page describes the suit in further detail. The funding campaign is to allow PanXchange to continue to provide the industry with much-needed benchmark data and market intelligence.
Asks Lerner, “Which of these two entities has the interests of the hemp industry at heart and which one thinks it can bully its way to success? We have attempted to settle this with NL only for the NL team to backtrack and force us to incur even more legal expenses. We have an army of industry specialists who are ready to attest to the fact that there has never been confusion between the two companies, their trademarks, nor their products and services.” She continues, “PanXchange’s lead as a benchmark price provider was earned through hard work and honest business practices. We have an exceptionally dedicated and qualified team, and we will not yield to their unethical efforts to intimidate us with weak and frivolous legal claims.”