The Trademark Infringement War

As if the negative outside influences were not enough, vaping has their ‘own’ creating a battle for the industry. Trademark infringements and childish characters on E-liquid labels are gaining popularity.

A tradeshow was the most recent target of Samantha Bee, a comedienne hailing from the popular Comedy Central cable TV channel. Bee attended the event seeking to publicize the worst labelling by a juice company, those that are deemed to be ‘Marketing to Children’. She found what she was looking for and we can expect a deluge of bad press once again because of it. The vaping industry has already been warned by Senator Edward Marky (D-Massachusetts) demanding that the children be saved from this ‘Big Tobacco industry’ and stating that ‘Nicotine and tobacco is essentially the same thing’.

The root cause of the problem is the companies that focus on exposure by making trademark brand imitations. The quick rise to recognition resulting in fast monetary gain is all they care about. These imitations are not only poorly done and lack any creativity but they also provide the necessary ammunition for bad press and validate the push for regulations such as those proposed by Senator Marky.

The industry itself does not have any legal power against such marketing behaviors and lacks authority over such companies making it difficult to stop it. Advocacy groups can only ask that these companies stop violating trademarks or change the childishly themed labels. Many shops will ‘turn a blind eye’ in exchange for having a brand that may sell for a short period of time and provide revenue. Some vape shop owners will refuse to carry such brands and they are doing the right thing by boycotting these damaging companies. However, there are shops that will say ‘If they change the label, we will carry them’. That is only perpetuating the problem because the juice companies that are making these labels are also banking on the fact that they can find instant recognition and then get a ‘free pass’ to retain their revenue streams after they make the changes.

This cycle of behavior is damaging and unacceptable for the vaping industry. Allowing a liquid company to damage this industry in such a time of uncertainty should be considered treason to all of us. This is not just a marketing scheme, it is irresponsible and it is certainly not the kind of practice that gains an adult industry perception from those outside the vaping world.