Elf Bar Lawsuit: What Actually Happened?
Elf Bar got itself in some legal hotwater in Florida, following a spat with US vape company VPR brand. In the US, Elf Bar is now known as EBDesign. Here’s everything you need to know about the Elf Bar lawsuit…
Elf Bar Lawsuit: Key Takeaways:
- Legal Issues: ELFBAR, a popular vape brand owned by Shenzhen Weiboli Technology Co., is facing legal trouble in the United States. Florida-based vape company VPR Brands has accused ELFBAR of trademark and patent infringement, leading to a lawsuit and a marketing ban.
- Trademark Infringement: The legal conflict primarily centers around the name ‘ELF’, which VPR Brands trademarked in 2018, the same year that ELFBAR entered the market. ELF BAR only applied for their trademark in 2020, leading to a dispute over who holds the rightful claim to the name.
- ELFBAR Marketing Ban: A US District Judge ordered a cessation of all ELF BAR marketing in the US, believing that VPR Brands is likely to succeed in their trademark infringement lawsuit due to their earlier registration of the ‘ELF’ trademark.
- VPR Brands’ Legal History: VPR Brands has a history of legal action and has achieved significant settlements related to trademark and patent infringements in the past. They also own multiple patents related to electronic cigarettes.
- Rebranding to EBDESIGN: In response to the legal challenges, ELF BAR’s parent company, iMiracle, has initiated a rebranding strategy, introducing the brand EBDESIGN for the US market. To minimize confusion for customers, product model numbers will be made more prominent on the new packaging.
- Potential Counterfeiting: The name change introduces a risk of counterfeit EBDESIGN products emerging, especially given ELF BAR’s global popularity. The company has already battled counterfeiting issues in the past, leading to the adoption of anti-counterfeiting QR codes on their packaging.
- Uncertain Future: As it stands, ELF BAR is navigating a complicated legal situation while trying to maintain its market presence and customer loyalty. The ultimate outcome of this case could have significant implications for the company’s future in the US market.
Life at the top is sometimes tricky. The more popular you get, the more scrutiny you receive. Being one of the biggest disposable vape brands on the planet means it is nigh-on impossible to operate under the radar of other vape companies and, worse still, governmental bodies like the FDA.
Elf Bar is learning this lesson the hard way, following a long lawsuit concerning copyright issues over its branding which resulted in its products being blocked from sale in the USA, perhaps the biggest vape market in the world right now.
In The US, Elf Bar is Now Known As EBDesign
Never one to roll over and die, Elf Bar – following the advice of its legal team – made some changes to how it brands itself in the USA. It is now known as EBDesign in the US, but it will keep its Elf Bar name in all other markets, including the UK and Europe.
But this rebrand isn’t without its problems. The possibility of even more fraudulent and/or counterfeit Elf Bar vapes hitting the market is now much higher than before; the absence of the Elf Bar name in the US, and the fact that plenty of people KNOW the brand, creates plenty of opportunites for unscrupulous types to exploit users.
All official EBDesign and Elf Bar products now come with a scannable QR code, so if you’re worried about whether your’s is official or not, just take a scan – it’ll quickly show you whether it is official or not.
Who Are VPR Brands?
The reason Elf Bar is in trouble in the US is because another vape brand, VPR Brands, has a product called Elf and, unsurprisingly, its Elf vape product looks and functions more or less identically to Elf Bar’s vape products: it’s a disposable vape, it uses a similar design, and it is available across the US.
VPR Brands, rightly or wrongly, took issue with Elf Bar appearing on its turf – the US market – and took steps to litigate it out of contention. This has only partially worked because Elf Bar is not going anywhere; you can still buy its products in the US but they’re just called EBDesign now – the products themselves, the flavors, and the models are all the same.
The company managed to acquire over $500,000 in settlements in March, 2022.
Along with the trademark for the ELF name, they own a number of patents based on electronic cigarettes.
With a history of lawsuits and settlements like this, VPR Brands must have been all but ecstatic when the popularity of ELFBAR products began to surge. This likely signified a potentially huge pay day.
What is more noteworthy is that VPR only recently created their ELF branded website, with products bearing a striking similarity with the already existing ELFBAR. This was likely done to bolster their case against the Chinese product.Source
What’s Next For Elf Bar In The US Market?
As it stands, not much should really change from Elf Bar’s perspective. It will still be selling all the same products in the US market, just under a slightly different brand name. Elf Bar’s tactics and means of generating explosive growth will remain unchanged, barring intercession from federal authorities, so users can expect to see EBDesign products available in most stores and in the hands and mouths of plenty of vapers in the US throughout 2023 and the future.
The only potential issue affecting Elf Bar related to regulation. Federal authorities really do not like disposable vapes. Following JUUL’s demise, it would appear that disposable vapes like Elf Bar are now the new target. Bans are already in place in some places, as are flavor restrictions, so it is entirely possible that we’ll see all disposable vapes – particularly flavored ones – banned at some point inside the next few years.
In the meantime, here’s an overview of the best disposable vapes you can buy in the US right now.
Drake EquationCo-founder and Editor of VapeBeat. I make the words.
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