RJR Sues E-Cig Maker

Alleges trademark infringement of Camel, Winston brands

Published in CSP Daily News

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. has filed a lawsuit against electronic cigarette maker SAS Technologies, accusing the company of infringing on its Camel and Winston brands, reported The Business Journal.

SAS Technologies does business as SaveASmoker.com and promotes and sells flavored liquid nicotine products for use with its MaxxVapor Pro e-cigarettes.

The lawsuit was filed last week in U.S. District Court in North Carolina by Reynolds Innovations Inc., a subsidiary of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., which is itself part of Reynolds American Inc.

Reynolds Innovations claims that SaveASmoker.com is selling "E-Liquid" products with names such as "Camell Tobacco" and "Winston" among the different flavors of liquid nicotine products, the report said.

According to the lawsuit, Reynolds Innovations believes that the use of the Camel and Winston names and images "is likely to cause confusion, mistake or deception among consumers as to the source, origin or sponsorship of such products."

Reynolds Innovations is seeking the recover damages from the unauthorized use of the Camel and Winston names and images and all of the profits SAS Technologies generated from the products, said the report.

As of Nov. 5, the flavors targeted by Reynolds Innovation had been removed from Ozark, Ala.-based SaveASmoker.com, the newspaper said.

Some e-liquid products still on the website, representing several companies' brands, are listed as:

  • USA Mix compare to Marlboro®.
  • Kam compare to Camel®.
  • Win compare to Winston®.
  • Ken compare to Kent®.
  • Virginia compare to Virginia Slims®.

The legal action comes at a time when Reynolds American is entering the e-cigarette market with its own product, named Vuse, which will be produced by subsidiary R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co., the Business Journal added (see Related Content below for previous CSP Daily News coverage).

The company plans to share more about Vuse during an Investor Day presentation next week, said the report.