ELFBAR, a leading disposable vape brand worldwide, has been sued for trademark infringement, leading to a name change in the United States. However, the ELFBAR name will continue to be used in the UK and other global markets. The brand will now be known as EBDESIGN in the U.S., with the possibility of restoring the ELFBAR name if the trademark dispute favors the company. This article explores the details of the lawsuit, the rebranding efforts, and the impact on ELFBAR products in the U.S.
ELFBAR Rebrands as EBDESIGN in the U.S.
ELFBAR’s Response to the Lawsuit The parent company of ELFBAR, Shenzhen IMiracle Technology Co. Ltd., is currently facing a trademark infringement lawsuit filed by VPR Brands, a Florida-based company. In response to the lawsuit, ELFBAR will adopt the name EBDESIGN in the United States. However, the ELFBAR name may be reinstated if the trademark dispute is resolved in favor of IMiracle. The transition to the EBDESIGN brand is already underway, with EBDESIGN-branded products expected to arrive at U.S. ports within days.
Retaining Model Numbers and Enhancing Visibility Despite the rebranding, the model numbers on EBDESIGN products will remain the same. In fact, these model numbers will now feature more prominently on the devices and packaging. For instance, the BC5000 model number, associated with the popular ELFBAR device, will be enlarged, ensuring its visibility surpasses that of the EBDESIGN brand. Previously, the ELFBAR name overshadowed the model number, but the new approach aims to prioritize the model number’s prominence.
Impact of the Lawsuit and Injunction on ELFBAR Imports
Lawsuit Against ELFBAR’s Parent Company VPR Brands has filed a lawsuit against Shenzhen IMiracle Technology Co. Ltd., alleging trademark infringement of the “Elf” brand for vaping products in the U.S. This Florida-based company has been involved in various trademark and patent infringement lawsuits in the past, often leading to settlements.
Lawsuit Extension to ELFBAR Master Distributors In addition to the lawsuit against IMiracle, VPR Brands has also targeted several master distributors of ELFBAR products in the United States. Master distributors receive products directly from the manufacturer and distribute them to other distributors, retailers, and sometimes directly to the public. These distributors are also named in the lawsuit and face restrictions on selling ELFBAR products during the legal proceedings.
Preliminary Injunction Halts ELFBAR Imports and Sales The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, has resulted in a preliminary injunction granted by District Court Judge Aileen Cannon. The injunction prevents IMiracle from importing ELFBAR-branded products into the U.S., and the master distributors are also prohibited from selling these products until the case is resolved.
Legal Position of Unnamed Retailers and Distributors According to a reliable source involved with the lawsuit, retailers and distributors not mentioned in the legal proceedings are not at risk as long as they continue selling their existing ELFBAR stock, unless they receive cease-and-desist letters from VPR Brands. However, since IMiracle has ceased shipping ELFBAR products to the U.S. and the master distributors are no longer supplying them, the availability of authentic ELFBAR products may dwindle over time.
Appeals and Trademark Status
IMiracle is currently appealing the preliminary injunction and has issued a press release stating its intention to challenge the decision. The company has requested Judge Cannon to stay the injunction while the appeal is pending. Additionally, one of IMiracle’s U.S. distributors has filed a petition with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office appeal board, seeking to cancel VPR Brands’ trademark.
Regarding the trademark status, VPR Brands applied for a trademark for the name ELF in 2017, covering electronic cigarette lighters, electronic cigarettes, and smokeless cigarette vaporizer pipes. The trademark was registered in 2018. In September 2022, VPR Brands also filed a trademark application for an “ELF” logo.
Although VPR Brands currently doesn’t seem to offer nicotine vaping products under the names Elf or Elf Bar, they have a battery for cannabis carts called the “Elf Auto Draw Conceal Oil Vaporizer” as part of their HoneyStick brand. Recently, VPR Brands unveiled a website showcasing “ELF”-branded nicotine vaping devices that bear a striking resemblance to IMiracle’s ELFBARs, even down to the model number. However, it’s important to note that introducing new nicotine vaping products to the market now requires a premarket tobacco application (PMTA) and FDA authorization, making it impossible to launch such products without the necessary approvals.
It’s worth mentioning that a U.S. trademark application for the name ELFBAR was filed in December 2020 by IMiracle subsidiary Shenzhen Weiboli Technology Co., but it seems to have been abandoned due to a lack of response to trademark office communications. On the other hand, the Chinese ELF BAR trademark was applied for in 2020 and has been held by IMiracle and its subsidiary Weiboli since its registration in 2021. In the UK, IMiracle filed for and successfully registered the ELFBAR trademark in 2021, making it the most popular disposable vape brand in the British market.
Beware of Counterfeit ELFBARs
Counterfeit ELFBAR products have been a persistent issue ever since the brand gained popularity. To combat this problem, IMiracle has taken significant measures. The company claims to have cracked down on over 120 counterfeit production and sales targets, including factories, warehouses, logistics companies, and foreign trade entities. They have seized more than 2 million finished counterfeit ELFBAR products, along with packaging boxes, anti-counterfeit codes, semi-finished vaping pipes, and other related accessories. Furthermore, IMiracle has actively fought against trademark infringers in China and has successfully shut down over 20 factories involved in manufacturing counterfeit ELFBAR products.
It’s crucial for consumers to verify the authenticity of ELFBAR products and report any retailers selling fake ELFBARs. With the halt in legitimate ELFBAR imports and limited stock available through distributors, consumers in the U.S. should exercise caution when purchasing ELFBAR-branded products from retail stores. As time goes on, the likelihood of finding genuine ELFBARs on store shelves diminishes significantly.
Conclusion and Final Thoughts
ELFBAR’s recent legal battle and trademark infringement lawsuit have led to the brand’s name change to EBDESIGN in the United States. While the dispute is ongoing, ELFBAR products will no longer be imported into the U.S. and are temporarily unavailable through authorized distributors. The company is pursuing appeals and challenging VPR Brands’ trademark, seeking a resolution in its favor. Consumers should be wary of counterfeit ELFBARs and verify the authenticity of products before making a purchase.