- Posted by MatadorAdmin
- On July 14, 2017
Chicago chewing gum giant, WM Wrigley Jr. Company has launched a trademark infringement suit against local Illinois e-cigarette seller Chi-Town Vapers LLC. The infringement case was filed with the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on Thursday 13th July. The iconic gum makers claim that Chi-Town Vapers of Bensenville, IL are using and abusing Wrigley’s own brands in order to sell flavored e-liquid for electronic cigarettes.
The main body of the trademark infringement complaint argues that Chi-Town Vapers have produced two flavors of e-liquid which are intentionally similar to Wrigley’s well-known gum brands. Chi-Town Vapers produces and sells a “Joosy Fruit Gum” flavor, which is sold in sunny yellow packaging, and a “Dbl Mint E-Liquid” flavor, which is clad in a grassy green packaging. The infringement papers which have been lodged by WM Wrigley Jr Company claims that these two products bear a striking and intentional resemblance to the well-known yellow “Juicy Fruit” gum and the green “Doublemint” flavored gum, both of which are trademarked by the company.
Chi-Town Vapers LLC is accused of selling the products which allegedly infringe on the Wrigley trademark both online and at physical locations in Illinois. At the time of publication, Chi-Town Vapers had withdrawn both products from sale from the company’s online branch. It is unknown whether the products are still available directly from the company’s main store in Bensenville, IL.
As part of the infringement complaint, Wrigley has produced historic branding photos of their products which date back over 100 years. These photos seek to show that the Juicy Fruit and Doublemint brands are well established and instantly recognizable for consumers. These photos have also been included by Wrigley to help to highlight the similarities between the Chi-Town Vapers products and the popular gum. The Juicy Fruit brand is protected by a trademark which was registered in 1915, whereas the Doublemint brand is protected by a trademark which was first registered in 1953.
The case aims to obtain judgment to show that any violations by Chi-Town Vapers are willful and intentional. WM Wrigley also seeks a permanent injunction against the e-cigarette organization to stop them from using Wrigley branding in future, and that the court should order all offending products to be recalled and delivered to Wrigley for destruction. In addition to this, Wrigley is seeking payment for damages and any court costs which have been incurred as a result of the case.
Wrigley has also taken care to point out that Chi-Town Vapers LLC has also copied the logos and flavors of a number of other well-known brands of candy, food and beverage. These brands include: Nutella, Skittles, Kahlua and Hawaiian Punch. The trademark infringement suit also states that Wrigley believes that candy flavors are being misappropriated by e-cigarette marketers as a way of selling e-liquids to children under the age of 18. This concern has previously been voiced by the US Food and Drugs Administration, as well as other similar national organizations in other countries around the world.