JUUL Labs’ mission is to help improve the lives of the world’s one billion adult smokers by providing them with a true alternative to combustible cigarettes. To accomplish our mission, we must restrict youth usage. That’s why, among many reasons, counterfeit and infringing products pose such a problem.
A key part of our youth prevention plan includes aggressively enforcing our intellectual property rights against counterfeiters and other infringers, operators who flood the market with unauthorized, and unregulated products, about which often little is known. These products tend to feature flavors and marketing that clearly target youth users and are often sold without any, let alone proper, age verification.
In our continued efforts to combat these violations, JUUL Labs filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey against 4 entities, their owners, and other individuals for trademark infringement, cybersquatting, unfair competition, unjust enrichment, and fraudulent misrepresentation, among other charges. The defendants employed a marketing strategy seemingly designed to create a false association with JUUL Labs, while simultaneously targeting a youth demographic.
The named entities are Juul Monster, K & R Products, Status Distribution, and Status Vapes, and their owners are Kristen Vanorski, Ryan Doka, Craig Doka, James Doka, and Jaclyn Quinto. They are alleged to have sold/resold JUUL products, third-party vapor products, and counterfeit JUUL products under the misleading and infringing business and trade names “JUUL MONSTER” and “JUUL MEGA STORE,” and marketed using the cartoonish Juul Monster logo, which is clearly depicted using a JUUL device.
The defendants, who attempted to register their cartoon Juul Monster logo with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, appear to irresponsibly target children with their marketing strategy, using JUUL Labs’ own branding. They promote JUUL-compatible brands in kid-appealing flavors like “green apple hard candy,” which are pushed through affiliated social media accounts such as Juul Monster and HotPodz, undermining JUUL Labs’ ongoing youth prevention efforts.
This recent filing is another step to protect public health and JUUL Labs’ brand and innovations. We will continue to take forceful actions and do what we can to stop these counterfeit and infringing products from flooding the markets. We will work with regulators, law enforcement and other key stakeholders to protect public health and combat youth access.