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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- An Illinois district court judge awarded $2.5 million to Greensboro, N.C.-based Lorillard Tobacco Co. after finding Canstar (U.S.A.), operating out of a Franklin Park, Ill., warehouse, knowingly distributed counterfeit cigarettes bearing Lorillard's brand names.
Judge James B. Moran entered the order this month in the civil action, brought by Lorillard more than a year ago against Florida-based Canstar (U.S.A.), after a court-authorized raid turned up counterfeit Newport brand cigarettes.
"Lorillard will vigorously defend its trademarks," said Ronald Milstein, vice president, general counsel for Lorillard. "All counterfeiters should be on notice that it is only a matter of time until they are caught selling fake versions of our products. And when they are -- as demonstrated in Judge Moran's courtroom -- the consequences will be severe, decisive and costly."
Cases similar to Canstar are currently pending in California, New York, New Jersey,
Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Kansas and Pennsylvania.