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Trader Joe's Wants to Shut Down Pirate Joe's

canada offbeat chain trademark infringement brand protection

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#1 Hum

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 22:41

Michael Hallatt, a Canadian in Vancouver, British Columbia, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars at Trader Joe's in less than two years, but the grocer wants him to stop shopping at the offbeat chain.

Hallatt, 53, runs a store called Pirate Joe's across the Canadian border where there are no Trader Joe's stores, the national retailer says in a lawsuit. Trader Joe's, based in Monrovia, California, sued for an injunction against Hallatt's store and damages as a result of trademark infringement, false endorsement, false advertising and other allegations.

Hallatt resells products including Trader Joe's Organic Hummus Dip, Charmingly Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Milk Chocolate Covered Potato Chips, the company said a lawsuit filed with the U.S. District Court in Seattle in May. The company named Hallat and his businesses, Pirate Joe's and Transilvania Trading.

Hallatt says, "If Trader Joe's really was a person, he would be cool with this."

Trader Joe's has about 400 grocery stores in 30 states and the District of Columbia, including 14 stores in the state of Washington, which Hallatt has harmed the most with his cross-border operation, Trader Joe's says in its lawsuit.

"It's very typical of companies to think they have to bully little guys out of some sense of brand protection," Hallatt said.

In protest, Hallatt removed the "P" in his front window and website, converting signage into "Irate Joe's". His website states the catchphrase, "Unauthorized, Unaffiliated, Unafraid."

Trader Joe's also accuses Hallatt of "conduct that misleads and deceives consumers into falsely believing that Pirate Joe's and/or Transilvania Trading have been authorized or approved by Trader Joe's" the lawsuit states. Hallatt's store also is "visually similar to Trader Joe's stores, imitating Trader Joe's famous 'South Pacific' trade dress," the lawsuit states.

Alison Mochizuki, a spokeswoman for Trader Joe's, declined to comment due to pending litigation.

 

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#2 Growled

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 01:37


Hallatt resells products including Trader Joe's Organic Hummus Dip, Charmingly Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Milk Chocolate Covered Potato Chips, the company said a lawsuit filed with the U.S. District Court in Seattle in May. The company named Hallat and his businesses, Pirate Joe's and Transilvania Trading.

 

That's a big no-no.



#3 KingCracker

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 14:52

Yeah without their expressed written consent he's making money off their name. He's gonna get in trouble. 



#4 FloatingFatMan

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 15:37

Yeah without their expressed written consent he's making money off their name. He's gonna get in trouble. 

 

Only if it's an internationally registered trademark.  If it's not, well, Canada's a different country, so there's not a lot they can do about it.



#5 KingCracker

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 15:54

Only if it's an internationally registered trademark.  If it's not, well, Canada's a different country, so there's not a lot they can do about it.

 

They could always make it one. 



#6 Praetor

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 15:56

So, according to Hallat, it's OK to buy stuff from first party and resell it without the first party agree to any of it? And copying the visual style the first party stores has as well?

 

What a jerk.



#7 FloatingFatMan

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 15:56

They could always make it one. 

 

Doesn't work like that. You don't get to do it after the fact.



#8 KingCracker

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 15:57

Doesn't work like that. You don't get to do it after the fact.

?



#9 vcfan

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 16:01

trader-joes-pirate-joes-lawsuit.jpg



#10 KingCracker

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 16:03

trader-joes-pirate-joes-lawsuit.jpg

Thats horrible.



#11 FloatingFatMan

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 16:07

?

 

Meaning, you have to register the trademark -before- some bugger starts to copy it. After the fact, it's already too late.

 

Don't get me wrong, what this guy is doing is pretty ######, but IF Trader Joe's don't have an international trademark, they may not be able to do a damn thing about it. Reselling products legally purchased products certainly isn't illegal.



#12 Praetor

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 16:11

Reselling products legally purchased products certainly isn't illegal.

 

Say that to EA :)

 

btw: nice pic :laugh:



#13 FloatingFatMan

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 16:15

Say that to EA :)

 

btw: nice pic :laugh:

 

 

EA don't get to make the law when it comes to reselling.



#14 pack34

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 16:18

Say that to EA :)

 

btw: nice pic :laugh:

 

There is a difference between software and a physical good. 



#15 Praetor

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 16:20

EA don't get to make the law when it comes to reselling.

 

Of course not; in fact in many countries it will be illegal to stop someone to resell a product. In this case, this guys a jerk: he's actively selling items in a way to mimic to original store's, which is wrong.