On March 7, 2017, a Federal Judge in Illinois granted well-known personal vaporizer manufacturer Grenco Science $47 Million in damages from 65 different online retailers found to be selling counterfeit versions of its products. The Court offered this ruling not only for its monetary purposes, but to stop sales of unauthorized products online.
The Los Angeles-based company has been the victim of such counterfeiting for years due to the extreme popularity of its products, recognizable trademarks, and collaborations with major names such as Snoop Dogg, Burton Snowboards, HUF Worldwide and Taylor Gang. The defendants in question have used these trademarks and collaborative designs to lead consumers to believe they are receiving genuine items instead of poorly made counterfeits. Such items generally use non-certified batteries and materials, which can be not only short-lasting but even potentially hazardous to the user due to minimal protection around the anode and cathode sections within.
According to the Grenco Science complaint, many of the unauthorized sites named in the lawsuit are based overseas and go to great lengths to conceal their identities and thwart shutdown. This includes operating under multiple fictitious names, using numerous merchant accounts and illegitimate search engine optimization tactics to drive traffic away from the genuine Grenco Science online store. The defendants often used logos and images directly sourced from Grenco Science to further deceive possible customers.
"This win represents the first of many in a continued effort against counterfeiters unlawfully infringing upon our intellectual property. And while we're thrilled with this initial outcome, let this serve as notice that we're only getting started," stated Chief Operating Officer Anthony Marino when asked for comment.
Grenco Science is represented by Greer, Burns & Crain Ltd. in the case GS Holistic, LLC v. Shejin Technology Co., LTD., et all (Case No. 17-cv-00246).