“We have a team of passionate ‘Mixologists’ dedicated to creating world famous flavours that you cannot get elsewhere,” writes Vapefab. “We use advanced R&D methods to ensure you vape the highest quality blends. All our flavours are U.S. made and guaranteed fresh. We make sure you only vape the finest flavours in the world.”
Unfortunately for Vapefab, and its holding company Dreamcore Enterprise, the product branding department isn’t as “world famous” or as “advanced” as the rest of the operation – and they resorted to stealing branding from Wrigley’s chewing gum.
In 2015, Phil Busardo castigated companies who chose to use inappropriate or illegal names and imagery on their juice bottles. In 2016, we reported that Merseyside vendors were selling bottles that ripped off the branding from Pokémon, Gummy Bears, Krispy Kreme donuts and the Simpsons – and were prosecuted by Trading Standards. This year, Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos lost his temper because of the irresponsible behaviour of juice makers and vendors who continued to give vaping a bad name.
Chi-Town Vapers were successfully prosecuted for using a yellow chewing gum- style label calling itself “Joosy Fruit” and a green-labeled “DBL mint”. Dreamcore Enterprise’s owner Mohammad Ibrahim Ghatala should have known what was coming. Instead, he chose to ignore the two Cease & Desist letters. It is a very stupid person who decides they will run up against the full might of a Coca Cola-funded legal team.
Consequently, Ghatala now faces judgements in relation to:
- Common law trademark infringement
- Violation of Illinois deceptive trade practices act
- Federal trademark dilution
- Federal trademark infringement
- Federal unfair competition
Wrigley said in a statement, it had “growing concern, shared by the Food and Drug Administration and the Senate, that the marketing of e-cigarette materials in chocolate, fruit and/or candy flavours harmfully targets children under 18 years of age.”
Jessica Stone Levy, a trademark infringement and intellectual property expert, said: “I am not at all surprised that Wrigley has brought this action…The Juicy Fruit mark is undoubtedly a core asset of Wrigley’s trademark portfolio, and Wrigley has to do whatever is necessary to prevent not only confusion as to its association or connection with e-cigarettes, but also to prevent harm to the public insofar as the use of its Juicy Fruit trademark on e-cigarettes communicates to the public that e-cigarettes are as harmless as chewing gum.”
A quick Google reveals that there are many independent juice makers also currently selling stock relying on Wrigley’s branding, both in the States and at home in Britain. Maybe if they aren’t going to listen to voices within the vape community they will bow to the courts and the huge business-ending fines that they are facing? Or, maybe they simply don’t care?