Ferrara Candy Sues Eliquid Company for Selling Fruit Stripe Gum Flavor
Many vapers prefer eliquids in fruit and candy flavors, but one candy maker doesn’t want their products associated with electronic cigarettes and they are fighting back. Ferrara Candy, the maker of Fruit Stripe Gum, is suing TrinitySun Inc. for marketing an eliquid called “Fruit Stripe”, which they claim violates their trademarked rights.
The eliquid company has already changed the flavor’s label to show “Striped Gum”, however it still features of photo of gum that looks remarkably similar to Fruit Stripe. Ferrara Candy is worried that parents will turn on them if they mistakenly think the company is offering eliquids that would attract kids. “If parents thought Ferrara Candy was trying to use its famous candy brands to hook children into nicotine products, it would dramatically and irreparably harm Ferrara Candy and its Fruit Stripe trademark,” the company said in the lawsuit.
Ferrara complained that they attempted to reach out to TrinitySun about the issue on multiple occasions and even sent cease-and-desist letters. However, the eliquid company only modified the images slightly and didn’t get rid of them completely. Now that Ferrara has filed a lawsuit, TrinitySun has removed the products from their website.
The company’s president insisted that TrinitySun has complied with Ferrara’s desire to remove their trademarked name. “I had a flavor that was labeled as Fruit Stripe gum, they asked me to remove that, and I did,” he explained. They replaced the flavor with a new name called “Striped Gum” around six months ago. For Ferrara, that is simply not enough. They still believe the eliquid is too similar to their own name and design and they want it removed permanently.
This could become a growing problem for electronic cigarette companies that offer knock off flavors that closely resemble trademarked candies and cereals. Just a quick look around the shelves of your local vape shop will likely reveal a lot of flavors that are dangerously close to trademark infringement.
Do you think eliquid companies should refrain from using flavor names that closely resemble well-known candies? What is the best strategy to market the flavors without crossing the trademark line?
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