UL Solutions Obtains Consent Decrees in Litigation Over Counterfeit UL Marks On Vaping Devices
After multi-year litigation, the defendants agree to cease unauthorized use of the UL Mark on vaping device products.
NORTHBROOK, Ill., March 2, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- UL Solutions, a global leader in applied safety science, today announced it obtained a consent decree against two companies selling vaporizer devices (also known as vapes or vaping devices) with unauthorized UL Marks. Arizer Inc., a manufacturer of vaping devices, and Greenlane Holdings LLC, a distributor of vaping devices, both stipulated to a consent decree, permanent injunction and judgment of $2.2 million (USD) as part of a settlement of UL Solutions' claims against them for trademark counterfeiting and false advertising, according to UL LLC v. 7111495 Canada Inc. et al., Case No. 20-cv-05308, in the Northern District of Illinois.
These consent decrees are part of a years-long effort by UL Solutions to deter vaping devices with counterfeit UL Marks from entering the marketplace. In 2019, UL Solutions brought its first suit against several manufacturers and distributors of these devices, including Kandy Pens LLC and AFG Distribution Inc. This case also ended with a consent decree, permanent injunction and judgment (UL LLC v. AFG Distribution Inc., et al., Case No. 19-cv-02724).
Vaping devices typically incorporte a rechargeable battery and a heating element. If improperly constructed, these devices can catch fire and even explode while in use. Severe injuries and deaths have been reported due to such issues.
To guide manufacturers in developing safer devices for the US and Canadian markets, UL 8139, Standard for Electrical Systems of Electronic Cigarettes and Vaping Devices, was published in 2018. The UL 8139 safety Standard is used to evaluate these products' electrical, heating, battery and charging systems.
While compliance with UL 8139 is voluntary, over 35 manufacturers now have their vaporizer devices certified to this standard. Manufacturers that achieve UL certification have made the choice to put their products through the certification testing process, demonstrating their commitment to preventing serious injuries from lithium-ion battery fires and explosions.
With the increasing adoption of UL 8139 across the industry, some manufacturers applied counterfeits of the UL Mark to their products or packaging. This happens when a manufacturer intends to mislead customers into believing their product meets applicable safety standards. It can also occur when product designers copy the marks on another company's product. In either case, the effect is the same: customers are misled into believing the product has been UL certified when it has not.
"Our investment in deterring counterfeiting delivers tangible value to our customers," said Tammi Burke, director of customer marketing at UL Solutions. "Our customers invest heavily in designing and manufacturing their products to meet the requirements for UL certification. Only those companies that have earned our certification have the right to benefit from using the UL Mark. Counterfeiters of the UL Mark unfairly compete in the marketplace and claim an achievement they have not legitimately earned."
"UL Marks appear on billions of products globally to demonstrate that these products meet scientific safety, performance or sustainability standards," said Jackie McLaughlin, executive vice president and chief legal officer at UL Solutions. "To help safeguard the integrity of the UL Mark, we are committed to protecting our brand and taking on counterfeiters where necessary to protect the public and help fulfill our mission of working for a safer world. We applaud this decision by the Northern District of Illinois as it will help ensure the UL Mark remains a symbol of trust to the public."
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