A federal judge has sided with Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. in a trademark infringement suit that suggested a Florida vape shop used names too similar to the gum and mint giant’s branding to sell its e-cigarette liquids.
In a complaint filed Jan. 29, Wrigley alleged Get Wrecked Juices, LLC, had used the terms “Pink Starburst” and “Skeetlez” to describe the flavor of e-cigarette liquids it was selling. Get Wrecked also allegedly used photos of a pink Starburst candy, a rainbow and candy-coated lentils to further illustrate the flavors.
Wrigley, providing screenshots of the alleged product entries, said its counsel wrote to Get Wrecked four times throughout 2017, requesting the company cease using the marketing. Wrigley said it got no response.
In addition to the potentially harmful association with Wrigley’s brands, the company cited underage use of e-cigarettes as another issue.
“There is a growing concern, shared by the FDA, the Senate and others, that the marketing of e-cigarette materials in chocolate, fruit and/or candy flavors harmfully targets children under 18 years of age,” Wrigley’s counsel wrote in the complaint.
In a ruling handed down April 12, Illinois Judge John Z. Lee said Get Wrecked Juices and manager Brian Turner had violated federal trademark laws, as well as the Illinois Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act and Illinois common law. Lee ordered Get Wrecked to cease selling all products containing the problematic branding and deliver those products to Wrigley for destruction. Get Wrecked will also cover Wrigley’s court costs.
As of Wednesday, Get Wrecked Juices’ website and Facebook page were not available.
In July 2017, Wrigley filed a different federal trademark infringement suit against Bensenville, Ill.-based Chi-Town Vapers, which allegedly marketed e-cigarette liquid under names such as Double Mint, Joosy Fruit and Skittles. In September 2017, Illinois Judge Edmond E. Chang ruled Chi-Town Vapers had violated trademark infringement laws and ordered the company to fulfill similar requirements.