Vapes Bars Responds to Allegations of Plagiarism by Lost Mary
According to a Law360 report on September 1st, Vapes Bar, an e-cigarette company, has responded to accusations of plagiarism made by its competitor, Lost Mary. Vapes Bar claims that their product line, "Found Mary," does not infringe on intellectual property rights as the name "Mary" is commonly used in the e-cigarette industry and therefore lacks sufficient similarity.
Vapes Bars Ltd defended itself in a submission on August 24th, arguing that the foot-shaped design and color scheme of its products are "common" in the e-cigarette industry, and do not constitute an attempt to impersonate its competitor iMiracle HK Ltd.
Vapes Bars argues that these brand names are "insufficiently similar" to constitute trademark infringement. According to their defense in the Supreme Court, the only common element, namely "Mary," is not exclusive.
In July, Miracle filed a lawsuit against Vapes Bars, alleging that the rival company is producing e-cigarettes that imitate the shape, color, and name of its own products, in an attempt to gain an "unfair advantage" in the market.
iMiracle also stated that allowing Vapes Bars to continue producing their "Found Mary" e-cigarette could dilute the reputation of the Lost Mary brand, which enjoys a strong reputation, high regard, and a highly distinctive personality in the UK.
However, Vapes Bars has now denied any allegations that they tried to pass off the Found Mary e-cigarette as being related to iMiracle, and stated that the similarities in the shape and color scheme of the e-cigarette boxes used by both companies are common in the industry.
To illustrate this point, Vapes Bar Ltd. has referenced several "similar" designs from other brands. According to the defense, this pod shape is manufactured by a Chinese company and supplied to several different e-cigarette companies in the UK.
Vape Bars responded, "The plaintiffs knew or should have known that this design was not exclusively tailored for them, as it was also made available to third parties.
Vape Bars also pointed out that iMiracle's intellectual property protection for Lost Mary has been "narrowed" because the term "Mary" is frequently used in tobacco products, e-cigarettes, and other "supplementary goods.
To illustrate this point, the defense side cited the trademarks of "Mary We Can," "Risky Mary," and "Mary" associated with tobacco and cigarettes in the UK, along with the trademarks of "Buddy Mary," "Last Mary," and "Love Mary.
Vape Bars also believe that the term "no legal regulations" implies that antonyms are automatically considered "similar" to each other.
The defense argued that the international trademark "Lost Mary" collected by iMiracle since early February has been of "poor reputation". They claimed that the name is associated with "illegal and dangerous e-cigarette products" and cited a case where the Lost Mary e-cigarette was allegedly taken off the shelves in the UK.
Representatives from Vapes-Bars Limited declined to comment immediately on Friday, while representatives from iMiracle Hong Kong Limited refused to provide any statement.
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