JUUL Sues Tobacco Company for Selling Counterfeit Products

On Monday, JUUL Labs, Inc. filed a complaint in the Central District of California against Redmill Tobacco, Inc. for allegedly selling counterfeit JUUL products in their stores that are “confusingly similar” to the official JUULpods and charging docks.

In September 2019, a JUUL employee allegedly purchased the counterfeit JUULpod and pods at a Redmill location. Shortly after, JUUL sent out a cease-and-desist letter, which resulted in the parties entering into a Settlement Agreement where the defendant agreed “not to make, import, distribute, or sell any product that, without authority or license from [JLI].” However, in December 2019, another JUUL employee supposedly found that Redmill continued to sell the counterfeit products. Furthermore, on July 16th, 2020, an agent from the State of Delaware Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement “seized approximately twenty-seven (27) units of Counterfeit JUUL USB Charging Docks, and filed criminal charges against Defendant.” The plaintiff claimed that the continued sale of counterfeit goods “is causing irreparable harm to the goodwill symbolized by the JUUL Marks and the reputation for quality that said marks embody.”

JUUL is suing on the counts of breach of contract, trademark infringement – counterfeit goods, fake designation of origin – counterfeit goods, unfair competition – counterfeit goods, and unfair business practices under California law. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant’s actions constituted “a wrongful and false representation to the consuming public that the Counterfeit Goods sold by Defendant originated from JLI” and that they acted “in bad faith.” 

The plaintiff is seeking actual, compensatory, consequential, and incidental damages, the Defendant’s profits on the counterfeit goods, statutory damages of $2,000,000.00 for each of the counterfeited trademarks, injunctive relief, treble damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, attorney’s fees and costs, and other relief.

JUUL Labs is represented by Clement and Ho. The case parallels a similar suit against a retailer filed last week.