ELFBAR, a well-known disposable vape brand, is facing a lawsuit for trademark infringement in the United States. To comply with the legal proceedings, the company will change its name in the U.S. market to EBDESIGN while continuing to use the ELFBAR name in the U.K. and other global markets. However, the trademark dispute is resolved in favor of ELFBAR. In that case, the company may choose to restore its original name in the future.
The new EBDESIGN-branded products will be available in the United States in a few days. The product model numbers will remain unchanged and will be more prominently displayed on the device and packaging. For example, the model number on the popular BC5000 model will appear much larger than the EBDESIGN brand, which was previously overshadowed by the ELFBAR name.
ELFBAR’s parent company will continue manufacturing other disposable vape brands, such as Lost Mary and Funky Republic, which will remain unaffected by this change.
Shenzhen iMiracle Technology Co. Ltd., the parent company of ELFBAR, is currently the subject of a lawsuit filed by VPR Brands, a Florida-based company that asserts ownership of the “Elf” brand for vaping products in the United States. VPR has a track record of initiating legal actions regarding trademark and patent infringement, with the majority of cases resulting in settlements.
In addition to suing Shenzhen iMiracle Technology Co. Ltd., VPR Brands has also filed a lawsuit against multiple master distributors of ELFBAR products in the United States. Master distributors are authorized to directly receive products from the manufacturer and subsequently resell them to other distributors, retailers, or directly to the public.
Judge Aileen Cannon, who granted VPR’s motion for a preliminary injunction in the ELFBAR trademark lawsuit, was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida by former President Donald Trump. She previously made headlines for her ruling in a separate case involving the seizure of classified documents from Trump’s property, in which she ordered a special master to review the documents before they could be accessed by the Justice Department. However, her decision was ultimately overturned on appeal.
A source familiar with the ongoing lawsuit has stated that retailers and distributors who are not named in the lawsuit will not face any legal consequences for continuing to sell existing ELFBAR inventory unless they receive cease-and-desist letters from VPR. However, iMiracle has stopped shipping ELFBAR-branded products to the United States, and the master distributors are no longer providing them.
iMiracle is currently appealing the preliminary injunction and has requested that Judge Cannon stay the injunction during the appeal. One of the company’s U.S. distributors also petitioned the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office appeal board to cancel VPR’s trademark.
In 2017, VPR Brands applied for a trademark named ELF under various categories, later registered in 2018. In September 2022, VPR applied for a trademark for an ELF logo. However, VPR Brands does not seem to be currently offering any nicotine vaping products under the names Elf or Elf Bar. Still, it sells a battery for cannabis carts under its HoneyStick brand called the Elf Auto Draw Conceal Oil Vaporizer.
Recently, VPR launched a website displaying ELF-branded nicotine vaping devices that closely resemble iMiracle’s ELFBAR products, including the model number.
VPR claims that these devices will be available soon. However, due to recent regulations, nicotine vaping products can only be legally introduced to the market after first submitting a premarket tobacco application (PMTA) and receiving FDA authorization. Unlike iMiracle, VPR still needs to submit PMTAs for its nicotine-based products.
In December 2020, an iMiracle subsidiary, Shenzhen Weiboli Technology Co., filed a U.S. trademark application for the name ELFBAR, which was abandoned after the filer failed to respond to trademark office communications. The Chinese ELFBAR trademark was applied for in 2020 and has been held since its registration in 2021 by iMiracle and its subsidiary Weiboli.
Moreover, the U.K. trademark for ELFBAR was filed and registered in 2021 by iMiracle, which is currently the most popular disposable vape brand in Britain. On the other hand, VPR Brands has filed a lawsuit against Shenzhen iMiracle Technology Co. Ltd., claiming rights to the ELF brand for vaping products in the United States.
A preliminary injunction has been granted to VPR by a U.S. District Court preventing iMiracle from importing ELFBAR-branded products while the case is being argued. iMiracle is appealing the preliminary injunction, and one of the company’s U.S. distributors has filed a petition asking the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office appeal board to cancel VPR’s trademark.