• April 17, 2024

Republic Awarded $2.3 Million

 Republic Awarded $2.3 Million

Federal jurors in Atlanta awarded Republic Brands $2.3 million in statutory damages in a case about counterfeit tobacco rolling papers.

The company had accused Star Importers & Wholesalers and ZCell & Novelties of selling fake versions of its Top and Job rolling papers in the United States. Amin S. Hudda and Samadali Lakhani, the respective owners of the distribution companies, will also be held personally responsible for the counterfeiting activities.

According to Law360, the jury found that Republic hadn’t proven that the wholesalers willfully bought and sold fake rolling papers bearing Top and Job trademarks.

Had the jurors found the companies’ infringement willful, each could have faced up to $18 million in statutory damages under the Lanham Act, as well as treble damages under federal law.

The case marks Republic Brands’ latest victory in its fight against brand piracy. Over the past two years, the company obtained judgments against four wholesale companies operating in Georgia and their respective owners, personally, for engaging in illegal infringing activities and selling counterfeit goods, according to Adams and Reese, which represented Republic Brands.  

In 2022, Republic won an $11 million judgement against another Georgia wholesaler and its owner.