First to fall was Chi-Town Vapers, who sold flavours called “Joosy Fruit Gum” and “Dbl Mint”. A bad couple of months saw them in court and challenged by the FDA for supplying liquids to minors. At the time of the court case, Planet of the Vapes contacted Chi-Town Vapers for a comment about Wrigley’s action but, despite saying, “we’re always here for you and here because of you”, nobody from the company could be bothered to get back to us. Their Facebook account would indicate they are no longer servicing “millions of customers”.
Next up, Vapefab felt the wrath of a legal team. Electing to ignore two cease and desist letters, its holding company ended up being taken to court for breaches of trade practices, trademark infringement, trademark dilution and unfair competition.
The news was widely covered, and Wrigley said in a statement, it had “a 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.”
The size of the eliquid operation didn’t matter to the chewing gum makers, it was clear that if someone stole their branding they would crush them. Only a fool would continue to steal Wrigley’s intellectual property.
This is the point where Get Wrecked Juices says, “hold my pint!”
Get Wrecked Juices used to say that it “set the gold standard” for every bottle of eLiquid, and that it tested every bottle to ensure “absolute perfection”. A spokesperson told Reddit: “Most of you have probably never heard of us, but we’re very big over on the facebooks.”
Not any longer. Their “facebooks” account is closed, the website shut down and emails are not being replied to as the owner currently stands in the dock. Wrigley’s lawyers state that by selling “Pink Starburst” and “Skeetlez”, Get Wrecked was “infringing its trademarks and causing unspecified damages”.
A lawyers said: “Defendants have refused to cease their misappropriation of Wrigley’s famous and federally registered Starburst and Skittles trademarks ... in an intentional effort to trade off of the valuable goodwill that Wrigley has built up.”
Wrigley spokeswoman Caitlin Kemper added: “The use of popular candy brands in the marketing, sales and promotion of e-cigarettes is deceptive and irresponsible. We strongly condemn these actions, which are directly at odds with our anti-tobacco policy and our strict marketing standards.”
Facebook juice sellers might think they are flying under the radar but the big companies are looking for illegal uses of their brand names – the vaping community doesn’t need the bad publicity.