A judge has ruled that a Kentucky seller of electronic cigarette chemical flavorings is violating a Medford competitor's trademarked spice flavor.
In a ruling filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Medford, District Judge Michael McShane sided with ECBlend over The Mad Alchemist Elixirs & Potions, based in London, Kentucky, saying Mad Alchemist used ECBlend's wordmark "Dragon's Breath" without permission.
Among the 400 flavors of e-cigarette "juices" that ECBlend sells is "Dragon's Breath," a trademark it registered in July 2012, according to the ruling. ECBlend sells its wares, registered with the Food & Drug Administration, via storefronts in Arizona, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin, as well as online.
ECBlend's website describes the Dragon's Breath flavor as "After-dinner smooth and creamy flavors leave a lingering freshness and cooling sensation after vaping." Reviewers described the flavor as a combination of mint and clove-like spice.
The Mad Alchemist Elixirs & Potions is "in the same line of business" as ECBlend, according to the complaint filed Aug. 17, and sells its e-liquid products online as well as in retail stores.
Court filings show that the Kentucky company has never responded to the lawsuit. Prior to the suit, the Kentucky company also apparently ignored ECBlend's June 30 cease-and-desist letter.
"Mad Alchemist was served Sept. 8, 2017, and has not appeared or otherwise defended in this action through the date of this Order," McShane's ruling says. "The Court finds that this factor weights in favor of the default judgment."
McShane granted ECBlend a permanent injunction against Mad Alchemist over the use of the trademark. In seeking an expedited default judgment, ECBlend dropped its request for damages caused by confusion over the trademark, although McShane allowed ECBlend to recover court costs.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Mad Alchemist's website still listed the product in question, describing it as a "strong and spicy vape with some cinnamon heat." Mad Alchemist's "Dragon's Breath" apparently mixes raspberry and cinnamon flavors to "make a crazy good combo." Friday's injunction ordered the Kentucky company to remove the product from its website, along with any other advertising, catalog or other mailer. Within 30 days, Mad Alchemist must report in writing and under oath that it has complied with the ruling.
— Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @MTCrimeBeat.