Trademark Litigation: Don’t Go Up in Smoke

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So far in 2022, GS Holistic, LLC has filed 98 lawsuits in Florida federal courts for trademark infringement to enforce its rights in various brands for vape products and accessories, including G-Pen and Stündenglass. Most consumers expect a cease and desist letter before a party initiates a lawsuit but that is not required. A plaintiff does need to conduct its own due diligence before filing a lawsuit to assess the merit in its claims. If a lawsuit is baseless or frivolous, the plaintiff may be subject to sanctions under Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

To assess the infringement, a plaintiff may use a third party investigator to order the allegedly infringing product. When the product is received, the plaintiff assesses whether or not the seller’s product is infringing any of their intellectual property, including trademark rights. If yes, the plaintiff may file suit and use the investigator’s order as evidence of infringement.

That is the tactic in most of GS Holistic’s cases. Given the volume of federal lawsuits GS Holistic has filed in Florida this year, use of their brands G-Pen and Stündenglass are prevalent across the state. As part of a trademark owner’s rights is the obligation to police against unauthorized use of confusingly similar marks. If you suspect there is infringement, you should actively enforce your rights. If not, you may lose your trademark rights.

In case of trademark infringement, defendants should look at the DuPont factors to assess the strength or weakness of the plaintiff’s trademark infringement claim. A defendant should also look to affirmative defenses, such as laches, statute of limitations, and invalidity of the underlying trademark registration. Being served with a federal trademark infringement lawsuit can be daunting, but engaging competent intellectual property counsel will help you assess the claims and develop a strategy on defending the case, including claims against the individual owners of the entity.

For any questions about your Intellectual Property questions, please contact Greg below:

Greg M. Popowitz, Esq.

Board Certified in Intellectual Property Law

Registered Patent Attorney

ASSOULINE & BERLOWE, P.A.

Miami Tower

100 SE 2nd Street, Suite 3105

Miami, Florida 33131

Main: 305.567.5576

Fax: 305.567.69343

Email: GMP@assoulineberlowe.com

http://www.assoulineberlowe.com/

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Filed under Intellectual Property, IP Litigation, trademark

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