It is my pleasure to have been quoted in an article for Forbes.com titled David v. Goliath, Trade Joe’s Sues Independent Retailer “Pirate Joe.” The article concerns a lawsuit filed by the specialty grocery store chain Trader Joe’s against Michael Hallatt and the store he operates in Vancouver called “Pirate Joe’s.” Mr. Hallatt’s business involves purchasing Trader Joe’s products in the U.S. that he then resells at his store in Canada. I’m quoted as follows:
David L. Ter Molen, partner and member of the food industry team at Chicago-based Freeborn & Peters LLP, points out that Trader Joe’s may be particularly concerned because food products (even those that aren’t fresh or frozen) have a limited shelf life and special care is needed in transporting and storing those products. “Here, Trader Joe’s has lost control over how its own products are handled and sold,” Ter Molen explains. “There is a strong concern that Trader Joe’s reputation would be negatively impacted if, for example, consumers became sick from eating Trader’s Joe products purchased at Michael Hallatt’s Pirate Joe’s store,” he says.
Not to mention that staying mum could encourage an association between the two stores, even though Hallett’s tried to make it clear there is no affiliation. “If Trader Joe’s did nothing, then this fact could be used against [it] in future litigation against a potential infringer,” Ter Molen says.
Please see the complete article here. As an FYI, I’m misquoted at the end of the article discussing the issue of whether Lanham Act claims can be asserted for conduct occurring in Canada. In discussing one factor in the test for whether Lanham Act claims can extend to extraterritorial conduct, I’m quoted as saying, “It’s difficult to think of scenarios where Trader Joe’s may have lost business opportunity or suffered monetary harm due to defendant’s conduct.” That line is actually from the defendant’s motion to dismiss and I was stating that this is an argument that Trader Joe’s will need to overcome. I’ll provide updates on whether it is able to to do and move forward with its suit.