Another day, another dim-witted e-juice mixer being sued by a candy company.
Get Wrecked Juices LLC, a Jacksonville, FL-based e-liquid manufacturer, is being sued by candy giant Wrigley for infringing its trademarks for Skittles and Starburst candies. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for Northern Illinois.
The e-liquid company used the name “Skeetlez” rather than the correct spelling of the candy’s name — but that probably won’t be enough to save them in court. Wrigley says in its complaint that the misspelling “is intended to be confusingly similar to Wrigley’s SKITTLES mark…in such a way as to trade off of and infringe upon Wrigley’s famous SKITTLES mark and trade dress.”
According to Wrigley, the Get Wrecked website used to have a picture of actual Skittles on the Skeetlez page, but later replaced it with a rainbow. The vape company also used a slogan that Wrigley claims is meant to copy its “Taste the rainbow” Skittles slogan. “Experience the spectrum of visible light!” said the Get Wrecked page.
The Skittles and Starburst products don’t seem to be on the website at all anymore, but Get Wrecked has a variety of tasteless names and images, guaranteed to earn giggles from anyone under 14. Its home page highlights Lumberjack Milk, a flavor illustrated with a cartoon image of a lumberjack holding an axe and spraying pink milk from udders on his stomach. Classy stuff.
The suit alleges that Get Wrecked ignored Wrigley’s warnings to stop using its intellectual property. “Defendants have refused to cease their misappropriation of Wrigley’s famous and federally registered Starburst and Skittles trademarks … in an intentional effort to trade off of the valuable goodwill that Wrigley has built up,” Wrigley says.
Unbelievably, this is the second time in the last year that Chicago-based Wrigley has been forced to defend its trademarks against theft by an e-liquid maker. Last summer, the company sued Chi-Town Vapers for its use of the Juicy Fruit and Doublemint trademarks.
Wrigley is getting tired of dealing with idiotic e-liquid manufacturers. Rather than just shutting down the new offender with a blitzkrieg of legal action, they’re now using the opportunity to attack vaping in general — probably in the hope that they can goose the FDA into taking action against flavors (which is coming soon anyway).
Wrigley’s latest complaint accuses Get Wrecked and its owner Brian Edward Turner of marketing to children, according to the legal site Law360 [note: link is paywalled]. They’re not marketing to children, of course, but who can blame Wrigley?
Let’s face it, if you had to keep going to court to defend your trademarks from abuse by people too dumb to understand the threat behind a cease-and-desist letter from a massive corporation, wouldn’t you use your good reputation to take a poke at the industry that continues to cause you trouble?
Here’s a tip for tiny e-liquid companies with an urge to be clever: don’t mess with companies that are seven times as big as your whole industry. That’s right. Mars, Inc., which bought Wrigley in 2008, had revenue of $35 billion last year — about seven times the sales of the entire U.S. vaping industry.
That makes disposing of a problem like a trademark-infringing e-juice maker about as tough for Wrigley as swatting a fly. Good luck, Get Wrecked.