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BRADFORD, Pa. -- Zippo Manufacturing Co. is taking legal action against a Lorillard Inc. subsidiary over the use of the brand name blu.
The Bradford-based maker of the Zippo lighter and its subsidiary ZippMark Inc. have sued LOEC Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Greensboro, N.C.-based Lorillard, for trademark infringement in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. The lawsuit seeks to prevent LOEC from selling its electronic cigarettes under the brand name "blu" because Zippo owns the trademark BLU for its line of blue-flame butane lighters.
Lorillard acquired blu eCigs in April 2012.
"Despite our attempts to resolve this matter amicably, Zippo has been compelled to seek the court's assistance to protect our BLU trademarks," said Zippo President and CEO Gregory Booth. "Zippo is instantly recognizable because we have long understood the value of our brand and the need to vigorously protect it against use by others. Our BLU trademarks are similarly valuable and will be similarly protected."
The company's trademark infringement claim comes as LOEC seeks a declaratory judgment of noninfringement. Zippo is represented by attorneys from Squire Sanders (US) LLP in Palo Alto, Calif., and Los Angeles.