JUUL LABS ANNOUNCES NATIONWIDE ENFORCEMENT CAMPAIGN AGAINST RETAILERS SELLING COUNTERFEIT JUUL PRODUCTS
August 18, 2020
Juul Labs recently filed six trademark infringement actions in several states across the U.S. as part of its global enforcement program, directed at disrupting the illicit trade of black-market vapor products. Such products circumvent federal and state laws, can present additional health and safety risks to adult consumers, and undercut underage-prevention measures. Through robust enforcement, Juul Labs aims to help create a more responsible marketplace for current adult users while addressing underage use.
Over the coming weeks, as part of a nationwide campaign, Juul Labs will be filing trademark infringement lawsuits against approximately 20 retailers that the company has identified as some of the worst offenders in the country. The defendants targeted in these cases are retail outlets that refused to stop selling counterfeit JUUL products even after Juul Labs verified their illicit activities, demanded they stop, and served them with cease and desist notices.
- Counterfeit JUUL products are designed and marketed to mimic authentic JUUL products and largely are imported from China-based suppliers. In conjunction with law enforcement, Juul Labs has identified and shut down numerous illicit manufacturing operations in China, each of which were capable of producing hundreds of thousands of counterfeited products a month. Unfortunately, others remain and are still active.
- Authentic JUULpods for the U.S. market are filled and packaged in the U.S. using Juul Labs’ proprietary e-liquids under its strict manufacturing standards and quality controls. Counterfeit JUUL products are not manufactured in accordance with these stringent requirements but are instead manufactured outside of our control, using unknown ingredients and materials and under unknown manufacturing and processing controls without product testing and characterization.
- Sales of counterfeit products also undermine underage-prevention measures through ease of access. For example, counterfeit products are often sold through nontraditional retail channels, such as social sourcing and online with inadequate age-verification requirements. In addition, Juul Labs-run investigations through its Mystery Shop program have shown that where retailers are willing to carry and sell illicit vaping products, they are often willing to ignore other legal requirements. Indeed, some of the retailers named in the complaints Juul Labs will file over the next 60 days were found to not only be selling counterfeit JUUL products but also failed to complete proper age verification and comply with our internal product-quantity limits.
It is our hope that these actions will help remove counterfeit JUUL products from the market and also yield additional information on upstream suppliers that will help Juul Labs and others further disrupt the illicit black market for vapor products.
Our customer base is the world’s billion adult smokers. As we strive to reset the category in the U.S. and earn a license to operate in society, we will continue to work cooperatively with stakeholders to combat underage use and transition adult smokers from combustible cigarettes.