Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

U.S. judge rules for Canadian Trader Joe's rival

  • Print

VANCOUVER -- Privateer? Maybe. Pirate? Not so much.

That was the effect of a ruling from a Washington state judge as she scuppered a lawsuit filed by U.S. grocery giant Trader Joe's against British Columbia-based upstart impersonator, Pirate Joe's.

Judge Marsha Pechman dismissed the suit against a Vancouver man who buys products at Trader Joe's stores south of the border and resells them in his brazenly named shop in Vancouver's Kitsilano neighbourhood.

In keelhauling the action, Pechman also ruled there was no basis to apply a U.S. law known as the Lanham Act, which confers broad jurisdictional powers upon U.S. courts.

Trader Joe's filed the lawsuit in May against Michael Hallatt, who is a Canadian citizen with permanent U.S. alien status.

"Here, all alleged infringement takes place in Canada and Trader Joe's cannot show economic harm," Pechman said in a written ruling issued this week. "Even if Canadian consumers are confused and believe they are shopping at a Trader Joe's or an approved affiliate when shopping at Pirate Joe's, there is no economic harm to Trader Joe's because the products were purchased at Trader Joe's at retail price."

She said Trader Joe's also unsuccessfully argued Pirate Joe's was competing for Canadian customers who may purchase goods in the U.S.

In its lawsuit filed in Washington, Trader Joe's alleged trademark infringement and false advertising and raised other concerns that it said were hurting its brand.

The company also argued Hallatt was not authorized to resell Trader Joe's products and was misleading people by dressing up his store in a way that looks similar to the U.S. stores.

On Friday, Trader Joe's spokeswoman Alison Mochizuki said the company is disappointed in the ruling and disagrees with Pechman's determination that it could not exercise jurisdiction over Hallatt's activities in Canada.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 5, 2013 A27

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Preview: RMTC's Armstrong's War

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A one day old piglet glances up from his morning feeding at Cedar Lane Farm near Altona.    Standup photo Ruth Bonneville Winnipeg Free Press
  • Winnipeg’s best friend the dragon fly takes a break at English Gardens in Assiniboine Park Wednesday- A dragon fly can eat  food equal to its own weight in 30 minutes-Standup photo- June 13, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What's your favourite Halloween treat to hand out?

View Results

Ads by Google