The Hammer Falls on Trademark Infringement

As many have heard by now, General Mills sent a shock wave through the vape industry by taking legal action against e-liquid companies who have infringed on their trademarked products. Sending cease and desist letters to companies who have been marketing flavors labeled as “cinnamon toast crunch” a cereal brand owned by General Mills which has been a long time favorite for generations.

In a statement released following the announcement of the cease and desist order General Mills said, “Any use is unauthorized and would constitute an illegal misuse of our marks.” Further adding that “General Mills has already sent a cease-and-desist letter to remove our branding and trademarks from these products — and we will take further action if necessary.”

A number of other companies who own trademarks used by e-liquid companies have also followed suite.
The maker of Girl Scout Cookies, and the classic Tootsie Roll  candy also announced they would be taking legal action against companies who infringe on their trademark.

“Using the Thin Mint name, which is synonymous with Girl Scouts and everything we do to enrich the lives of girls, to market e-cigarettes to youth is deceitful and shameless,” Girl Scout spokeswoman Kelly Parisi said in a statement.

The news has brought to light a long-standing problem in the vape industry. As countless e-liquid brands have attempted to piggy back off the familiarity of established long standing brands. Not only replicating their flavor profile for vaping, but also completely cloning their look and design.

The actions of these companies has caused a ripple effect, as multiple companies move to not only change the name of their flavors, but redesign their label as well.

Furthermore, it’s caused a state of panic, as it is one of the most damning pieces of evidence for the anti-vaping propagandist. Citing the packaging and design of e-liquid companies as marketing to children. This has caused multiple companies to scramble and redesign their existing look to avoid the controversy.

The industries response has been swift, as many companies have publically pledged to repackage their brand. In addition to proposed by boycotts from retailers and distributors on any company that doesn`t follow suite.

The industry itself has not been blind to the issue, advocates have been calling for more accountability and stricter guidelines for a long time now. The news has served as a needed wake up call for e-liquid manufacturers to become more responsible for their actions as the vape community continues to come under more scrutiny.