Wrigley Doesn’t Want You Vaping Its Gum Flavors
The chewing gum company is suing the makers of "Joosy Fruit" and "Dbl Mint" e-cigarette juice.
Not only is Wrigley one of the best known names when it comes to gum, many of their flavors are undeniable classics. FYI, “Doublemint” isn’t a type of mint; it’s specifically a brand of Wrigley chewing gum. Similarly, Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit has become such an iconic flavor that pretty much the only way to describe what it tastes like is to say that it tastes like Juicy Fruit. But just because these brands have become American cultural staples doesn’t mean they’re fair game to be turned into vaping flavors – which is exactly why the Chicago-based Wrigley has filed a lawsuit against Chi-Town Vapers claiming that the vape company’s “Dbl Mint” and “Joosy Fruit” flavored e-cigarette liquids constitute trademark infringement.
In the lawsuit filed last week, Wrigley points out that not only are the company’s trademarks being used against its will, but also the manner in which they’re being used is detrimental. “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,” the filing begins. “[T]heir misappropriation of Wrigley’s famous and federally registered trademarks for use on Defendants’ e-liquid for electronic cigarettes, in an intentional effort to trade off of the valuable goodwill that Wrigley has built up in its marks … is likely to cause confusion, harm the public, and damage Wrigley’s valuable rights.”
In the lawsuit, Wrigley also demonstrates just how brazen it alleges Chi-Town Vapers has been in impinging on both Wrigley’s and other company’s trademarks. As Consumerist shows, the packaging the vape brand uses in many ways mimics the color scheme and design of Doublemint’s green and Juicy Fruit’s yellow labels. Meanwhile, Wrigley’s brands aren’t the only ones shown listed on Chi-Town Vapers’ website. “Rather than develop their own brand names for their products, Defendants have chosen to market their e-liquid for electronic cigarettes using the trademarks of various other well-known companies,” the filing says. “Some examples include: DOUBLEMINT, JUICY FRUIT, SKITTLES, KAHLUA, HAWAIIAN PUNCH, MOUNTAIN DEW, RED BULL, and NUTELLA.” The suit practically alleges that if it’s an infringeable trademark, you can vape it!
Wrigley is seeking an injunction to keep Chi-Town Vapers from using their company’s trademarks and asking for the vape company to recall all existing products which should be sent to Wrigley for destruction, as well as requesting monetary damages including all profits made off these products. Assuming Wrigley is able to pull off a victory, this action could definitely be considered a warning to e-cigarette companies that some flavors just aren’t meant to be vaped.