Vaping Industry Feels Waves After Wrigley Gum Trademark Suit

Vaping trademark Lawsuit 0

The gum manufacturer Wrigley is going after an Illinois-based e-liquid company that is using its trademarks for vaping e-liquid products. The suit couldn’t have come at a worse time for the vaping industry who is currently fighting for legitimacy and fair treatment.  Setbacks like this are hurting honest companies and everyday vapers are feeling these waves.

Just how does a company get in this situation? They didn’t pay close attention to patent laws or take a gamble on how long they could get away with such poor behavior. Brands take years to build and money. Hard work goes into image building. For vaping companies that do it right, especially ones under attack, they are pissed.

Consumers do care about quality and reliability. Most vapers prefer brands that do not have issues and will be here for the long haul. After all who wants to like something only to find it removed a short time later for stupidity? Furthermore, if a company is this unethical how can you trust they didn’t take shortcuts on the products they sell. 

This type of behavior can reinforce a bad boy image the industry is trying to avoid being labeled. Most vaping businesses are spending a lot of time and money building up their reputation. This certainly isn’t the press they want to see on the front page of the newspaper.

So what exactly happened? The lawsuit was filed on Thursday, July 13 at the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. Wrigley claimed that Chi-Town Vapers had infringed its IP covering the Doublemint and Juicy Fruit brands of gum.  The company sells a yellow-labeled Joosy Fruit Gum and a green-labeled Dbl Mint products.

These intentionally resemble the Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit and Doublemint Mint gums. Wrigleys photographs of wrappers from 1914 for Doublemint and 1905 for Juicy Fruit show a long legacy with this brand.  The suit specifically wants them to stop all sales of the e-liquid products with the Wrigley logos mentioned and to collect any profits it’s made off them.

Expect additional lawsuits because this same company currently has flavors that resemble those of Skittles, Hawaiian Punch, Mountain New, Red Bull and Nutella. It really is a bad they just develop their own brand for their product as might add to the troubles vapors face in cities like San Francisco.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved legislation that prohibits retailers from selling flavored tobacco vaping products. This will become effective in April 2018 throughout the city. This is the first law in the nation to approve such a sweeping ban on flavored tobacco sales. People can still use flavored tobacco products in San Francisco. The legislation only bans the sale of flavored tobacco products, which is just a backward approach in the first place.

The ban is a policy “that is as Prohibition-oriented as something that might come out of the Deep South,” is just plain regressive for a city that has always been progressive.  The vote will be subject to debate for some time as citizens are getting fed up with more rules that hurt businesses.  Those who really want flavors will go to a neighboring city or even an online retailer to obtain what they want legally.  

What took place in San Francisco was a setback for the vape industry where the fear of copycat regulations will spread to other places.  Most would like the flavored debate to go under the rug so real issues like unjust pending FDA rules would be the topic of discussion. We don’t need a company tarnishing those who play by the rules or deflect from important conversations.  

This may sound a little harsh but wait, there’s more to the story. Wrigley initially contacted the Illinois-based company in July 2014 to demand it stop selling products infringing on its brands. While the defendant never responded, it did remove the infringing images from its website.  

Everything was fine until recently. They added the products back and began selling them again. You almost can’t blame Wrigley for filing suit considering they already warned them nicely. Those who follow the rule in the vaping industry rightfully upset. They pay large sums for protecting their brands just like Wrigley.  

How can you help reverse this latest debacle? One way is to only buy from reputable online sites like ours, and support businesses that creatively brand their products for your shopping benefit. Reward them with your purchases.  By playing by the rules they will be around for some time to come. Watch out for companies that are reckless. They make the entire industry look bad. Spend your vaping money wisely and don’t support companies that steal from others.  

Dustin has been vaping for almost a decade. He found e-cigarettes in 2008 and quickly became drawn to them as an early adopter. He's been writing reviews ever since and has established himself as a well-versed authority on the subject.

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