• May 20, 2024

Court Upholds IP Damages for Republic Tobacco

 Court Upholds IP Damages for Republic Tobacco

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit on Aug. 22 upheld a multimillion dollar verdict against Diamond Wholesale and its owner, Raj Solomon, for infringing trademarks owned by Top Tobacco, Republic Technologies and Republic Tobacco, reports IPWatchdog.

In March 2022, a jury in the U.S. District Court of Georgia awarded Top Tobacco $11 million in damages against the wholesale company and its owner. Diamond Wholesale appealed the ruling, arguing that the district curt erred in excluding evidence, including witness testimony and invoices, that would have proven the retailer and its owner believed it was purchasing the counterfeit product from a legitimate seller, Star Importers, and that their infringement could therefore not have been intentional.

However, the Eleventh Circuit ruled that a “showing of intent or bad faith is unnecessary to establish a violation.”

Earlier this year, federal jurors in Atlanta awarded Republic Brands $2.3 million in statutory damages in a case about counterfeit tobacco rolling papers against Star Importers and ZCell & Novelties.