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Wrigley takes vaping company to court over ‘juicy fruit’ trademark

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Wrigley Juicy Fruit gum is a stable of American life, but vaping retailers should be wary of using this trademark in the marketing of any products. In a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court of Illinois, the company is suing Dreamcore Enterprise after allegedly refusing to answer two former cease-and-desist letters. Wrigley apparently means business.

The chewing gum conglomerate is suing on multiple fronts, and putting the full weight of its legal team behind the lawsuit. The Juicy Fruit brand was first registered as a trademark over 100-years ago in 1915. It’s been in use since 1894. Perhaps because this brand name is such a big part of Wrigley’s professional reputation, the company is accusing Dreamcorp of the following infractions.

  • Common law trademark infringement
  • Violation of Illinois deceptive trade practices act
  • Federal trademark dilution
  • Federal trademark infringement
  • Federal unfair competition

The Wrigley case is gaining a great deal of international attention, which may not bode well for the American vaping industry as a whole. E-cigs and vaping devices have been under attack for several years, being accused by left-leaning activists groups of targeting the sales of e-liquids to minors. In fact, municipalities that include San Francisco, Oakland, San Leandro, Contra Costa County, and Richmond, California, are even attempting to pass local ordinances which will prohibit the sales of all flavored e-liquids permanently.

Wrigley Juicy Fruit sets serious over vaping

According to a report published on the legal website Inside Counsel, at least one legal expert is not surprised by Wrigley’s hardline tactics. Jessica Stone Levy, a partner at Sherman & Howard with over 25-years of experience in issues of trademark infringement and intellectual property, says that the lawsuit comes as no big surprise.

“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.”

To be fair to Dreamcorp, this is not the first time that Wrigley has gone to court with the vaping industry. In July of 2017, it also sued a vaping retailer named Chi-Town Vapers over similar issues. So, for vape shop owners and e-liquid manufacturers selling products using well-known brand names like Juicy Fruit in their marketing campaigns, beware. 

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