ELFBAR Sued and Lost Due to Trademark Infringement


On February 23, the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Florida issued a judgment approving the preliminary injunction motion filed by the plaintiff, VPR Brands LP, and denying the defendant's motion for reconsideration. The court ordered that Shenzhen Wei Bo Li Technology Co., Ltd., the defendant in the case, must stop all marketing activities of its "ELFBAR" brand electronic cigarettes in the United States. VPR Brands LP had claimed that the "ELFBAR" brand infringed on its "ELF" electronic cigarette trademark. The court found that VPR Brands LP had priority rights to its trademark registration and that confusion between the two brands was likely.


In November 2022, VPR Brands LP requested a restraining order to stop Shenzhen Wei Bo Li Technology Co., Ltd. from using the ELFBAR trademark, claiming that the alleged infringement would cause negative impacts on VPR's future sales, resulting in a loss of approximately $100 million. Shenzhen Wei Bo Li Technology Co., Ltd. argued that VPR's trademark was unenforceable under the "unlawful use doctrine" because VPR's ELF electronic cigarette had not obtained PMTA approval from the US FDA. However, the court rejected this argument and found in favor of VPR Brands LP.


VPR Brands LP had also claimed that Shenzhen Wei Bo Li Technology Co., Ltd. had infringed on its electronic cigarette device patent and had engaged in unfair competition. VPR Brands LP sought compensation for sales and profit losses, treble damages, and attorney fees.


Although the ELFBAR brand is different from the ELF brand in that the former is a pre-filled disposable electronic cigarette while the latter is a refillable pod e-cigarette, the court found that the differences were not significant enough to avoid confusion among consumers. The court also found that the two products were sold and marketed in the same circles, primarily through distributors and trade magazines, further strengthening its conclusion that the ELFBAR brand could cause confusion among buyers.


As a result of the court's ruling, Shenzhen Wei Bo Li Technology Co., Ltd. has abandoned the ELFBAR brand and will launch a new brand name, "EB design," in March.

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