Trader Joe’s recently lost a legal battle against Pirate Joe’s claiming trademark infringement, false advertising and claiming the Vancouver retailer was hurting its brand.
Judge Marsha Pechman dismissed the case because there was no basis to apply a U.S. law known as the Lanham Act, which confers upon U.S. courts broad jurisdictional powers. The alleged infringements took place in Canada and Trader Joe’s cannot show economic harm as it does not operate any retail locations in Canada.
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Hallot told BCB news that he felt vindicated by the ruling. "The Lanham Act, which is this very broad powerful statute that allows corporations to, kind of, you know, beat up on anybody that affects U.S. commerce is very, very strong and powerful and can essentially shut down commerce in another country," said Hallatt. He goes on to say,”It really had to be black and white that we were not affecting U.S. commerce at all.”
Trader Joes argues that 40 percent of customers at the Bellingham location are non-US residents. The company theorized that a good portion of those customers are Canadians, and if they have they can purchase exclusive Trader Joes products in Vancouver they may stay in Canada.
The Judge dismissed the lawsuit because Trader Joe’s failed to show how it competes for Pirate Joe’s customers. The company has ten days to file an appeal.