Lorillard Subsidiaries Sue Zippo in the UK
Lorillard Sues to Stop Unfounded Threats Against BLU ECIGS
GREENSBORO, N.C., Sept. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Lorillard, Inc. (NYSE: LO) announced today that two of its electronic cigarette subsidiary companies, Cygnet UK Trading Limited (“Cygnet”) and Lorillard Technologies, Inc. d/b/a blu eCigs (collectively “Lorillard”), have filed for an injunction and declarations with the High Court of Justice in London, England to protect their BLU ECIGS® trademarks in the United Kingdom (UK) and throughout the rest of Europe.
The injunction seeks to restrain Zippo Manufacturing Company (“Zippo”) from threatening Lorillard and others with proceedings in the UK for alleged infringements of Zippo’s trademarks and the declarations seek to validate Lorillard’s rights to market and sell their products throughout Europe under the BLU ECIGS® brands.
As part of its ongoing attempt to extort Lorillard, Zippo has recently made highly public threats against Lorillard’s UK subsidiary Cygnet that its use of the BLU ECIGS® brand infringes Zippo’s trademark rights. In the filing, Lorillard asks that Zippo be ordered to stop repeating these unfounded threats (which damage Cygnet’s relationships with its channel partners) and pay significant damages as a result of its predatory conduct. They also ask for the Court’s declaration that their current use of the BLU ECIGS® trademarks does not infringe Zippo’s overstated claim of intellectual property rights.
“Our subsidiaries have been forced to take this legal action to protect their position and that of their partners. Zippo is trying to unfairly capitalize on the commercial success of our BLU ECIGS® electronic cigarettes business despite the fact that BLU ECIGS® products could not possibly cause damage to Zippo’s lighter sales,” stated Ronald S. Milstein, Lorillard Executive Vice President and General Counsel. “We intend to vigorously defend our trademark rights throughout the world against Zippo’s opportunistic trolling tactics and abuse of the legal system. Zippo is clearly struggling to make something out of nothing. Its misguided publicity campaign is designed to offset what has been a total failure of the Zippo ‘blu’ product in the butane lighter market.”
Lorillard does not anticipate a Court ruling from the filing until late 2015 and expects to conduct the BLU ECIGS® electronic cigarette business as usual into the future.
About Lorillard, Inc.
Lorillard, Inc. (NYSE: LO), through its electronic cigarette subsidiaries, is a leading global electronic cigarette company, marketed under the BLU ECIGS® and SKYCIG® brands. BLU ECIGS® and SKYCIG® are the registered trademarks of Lorillard and its subsidiaries. Lorillard maintains its corporate headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina.
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Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and projections about future events and are inherently subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated or projected. Information describing factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements is available in Lorillard, Inc.’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), including but not limited to, our Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. These filings are available from the SEC over the Internet or in hard copy, and are available on our website at www.lorillard.com. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the time they are made, and we expressly disclaim any obligation or undertaking to update these statements to reflect any change in expectations or beliefs or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any forward-looking statement is based.
SOURCE Lorillard, Inc.