Elf Bar changes its name to EBDesign. Why?
ELFBAR, which is likely the most popular disposable vape brand globally, is facing a lawsuit for violating trademark laws. As a result, the company will modify its name in the United States, but it will continue using the ELFBAR name in the UK and other international markets.
In the US, the brand will now be known as EBDESIGN Disposable Vape; however, the company reserves the option to revert to the ELFBAR name if the trademark issue is resolved in its favor. EBDESIGN Vape products are anticipated to arrive at US ports within the next few days.
The model numbers assigned to EBDESIGN products will continue to be used, and will be given greater prominence on both the device and packaging. This means that for instance, on the frequently purchased ELFBAR device, the model number BC5000 will be displayed more prominently compared to the EBDESIGN brand name, which used to be overshadowed by the ELFBAR name. In contrast, the disposable brands produced by ELFBAR's parent company, namely Lost Mary and Funky Republic, will remain unaltered.
VPR's vapes branded as ELF make use of the ELF and ELFBAR trademarks
In 2017, VPR Brands applied for a trademark for the term ELF for its line of products, including electronic cigarette lighters, electronic cigarettes, and smokeless cigarette vaporizer pipes.
The trademark was successfully registered in 2018. Recently, in September 2022, VPR filed an application for a trademark for an ELF logo. Currently, VPR Brands does not seem to have any nicotine vaping products available for purchase under the brand names Elf or Elf Bar. However, it does offer a battery for cannabis carts called the Elf Auto Draw Conceal Oil Vaporizer, which falls under its HoneyStick brand.
Recently, VPR unveiled a website featuring "ELF" branded nicotine vaping devices that bear a striking resemblance to iMiracle's ELFBARs, even sharing the same model number. VPR has stated that these devices will be available soon. However, due to FDA regulations, no new nicotine vaping product can legally enter the market without first obtaining premarket tobacco application (PMTA) clearance from the FDA. Unlike last year, when iMiracle's synthetic nicotine-based ELFBAR devices were submitted with PMTAs, there is no longer a grace period to introduce new products without obtaining authorization.
In December 2020, a U.S. trademark application was filed by iMiracle subsidiary Shenzhen Weiboli Technology Co. for the ELFBAR name, but the filer failed to respond to trademark office communications, leading to abandonment of the application.
iMiracle and its subsidiary Weiboli applied for the Chinese ELF BAR trademark in 2020 and have held it since its registration in 2021. Meanwhile, in the UK, iMiracle filed for and registered the ELFBAR trademark in 2021. The ELFBAR brand is currently the most widely used disposable vape in Britain.
The importation of U.S. ELFBAR has been suspended by an injunction
VPR Brands, a company based in Florida that asserts its ownership of the "Elf" brand for vaping products in the United States, has filed a lawsuit against Shenzhen iMiracle Technology Co. Ltd., the parent company of ELFBAR.
VPR Brands has a history of engaging in trademark and patent infringement lawsuits, often resulting in settlements. In addition to the lawsuit against iMiracle Technology, VPR Brands is also suing several master distributors of ELFBAR products in the United States. These master distributors are authorized to receive products directly from the manufacturer and then resell them to other distributors, as well as to retailers and the public in some cases.
In the autumn of last year, a lawsuit was initiated in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Recently, Judge Aileen Cannon, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, granted VPR's request for a preliminary injunction to prohibit iMiracle from importing products bearing the ELFBAR brand, as well as their main distributors from selling them, while the case is being litigated. It is worth noting that Judge Cannon previously issued a ruling that a special master should review classified documents taken from President Trump's property before the Justice Department could access them, but her decision was overturned on appeal.
A reliable source with close involvement in the lawsuit has revealed that retailers and distributors not mentioned in the lawsuit are not at risk of legal consequences if they continue selling the existing ELFBAR products, unless they receive a cease-and-desist order from VPR. However, iMiracle has ceased shipping ELFBAR-branded products to the U.S., and the master distributors have stopped supplying them as well.
iMiracle is challenging the preliminary injunction and has requested Judge Cannon to halt the injunction while the appeal is pending. Additionally, one of the company's distributors in the U.S. has submitted a petition to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office appeal board seeking to nullify VPR's trademark.
Be cautious of fake ELF BAR Vape
Ever since the brand's launch, there has been a persistent issue of counterfeit ELFBARs. To address this problem, iMiracle has taken exceptional measures. As per the company's statement, they have taken strict action against over 120 counterfeit production and sales entities, which includes factories, warehouses, logistics, and foreign trade companies. Additionally, they have seized more than 2 million counterfeit ELFBAR products, packaging boxes, anti-counterfeit codes, semi-finished vaping pipes, and other accessories.
The company has engaged in legal battles against those who infringe on their trademark in China, resulting in over 20 fake ELFBAR factories being shut down.
Authenticity of ELFBAR products can be easily confirmed through the use of QR codes, and the company also offers a form for reporting retailers who sell counterfeit ELFBARs.
Consumers in the United States are advised to exercise caution when purchasing ELFBAR-branded products from retail stores. As mentioned previously, legitimate ELFBAR imports have ceased, and distributors have very little inventory left. As time passes, the likelihood of finding genuine ELFBAR products on store shelves decreases.