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Synthetic Drug Slammed for Newport-Like Package

  1. SmokeTwibz

    (CN) - The maker of Newport cigarettes won a trademark suit and attorneys' fees against two brothers who sell a legal psychoactive drug under the brand "Newprot."

    Spice is a form of synthetic drug that is legally marketed in Virginia as herbal incense. It produces effects similar to that of cannabis because it is made from spraying a THC-like synthetic chemical onto dried herbs and flowers. It can be smoked like marijuana, but it is not detectable in drug tests for cannabis.

    The Drug Enforcement Administration has declared several synthetic ingredients illegal, but the creative labels of herbal incense, potpourri or bath salts make the industry a difficult one to crack. The American Association of Poison Control Centers has reported a surge in the number people sickened by such drugs.

    Majdi and Mohommad Abujamous advertised and sold spice labeled as "Newprot" at their three Tobacco Zone stores in Richmond, Va. The product was sold in pouches that mimicked Newport cigarette packaging.

    Newport cigarettes, a product of the Lorillard Tobacco, are the second-best-selling cigarette brand in the United States, with 12 percent of the market.

    U.S. District Judge John Gibney Jr. found last week that the Abujamouses acted in bad faith and their product infringed on Lorillard's trademark.

    "Only minor, trivial differences exist between the instant marks such that they are virtually indistinguishable," Gibney wrote.

    "Both the parties' marks are also used in connection with smoking products and sold in similar channels of commerce," he added. "While Newprot is not a cigarette (and may or may not qualify as synthetic marijuana), it is a smoking product."

    Despite their familiarity with the Newport brand, the Abujamouses "still chose to trade upon the goodwill and prestige Lorillard had established in Newport by advertising, distributing, and selling their product under a virtually identical guise," according to the court.

    Lorillard can collect attorneys' fees because the infringement was deliberate, Gibney wrote, noting that Mohommad Abujamous admitted the similarity between Newport and Newprot's packaging.

    "These were not acts of negligence, but rather deliberate decisions to trade on the popularity and widespread recognition of Lorillard's established brand," the ruling states. "The evidence in this case is clear and convincing that the defendants deliberately used the Newprot mark to infringe the plaintiffs' mark."

    Monday, August 13, 2012

    Author Bio

    My name is Jason Jones. I'm from Rochester, MN and I'm 35 years old. I scrap metal and work as grounds keeper at a local trailer park. In the winter, I shovel a bunch of driveways and sidewalks to make some extra money and to stay busy. In my free time, I try to find interesting articles about the war on drugs that I can post on Drugs-Forum, so that the information can reach a wider audience.


  1. Alfa
    For completeness sake, here is the newprot packaging, which is clearly a breach of copyright:

    This case shows clearly how the legal highs industry is filled with cowboys who have no moral values whatsoever. Apparently they are used to counterfeiting spice products to such degree that its only logical to counterfeit the main tobacco brand.

    Does anyone have an idea what amount of money the trademark owner wants from the counterfeiters?
  2. SmokeTwibz
    I didn't want to post the picture of the 'newprot' box, because in one of the Research Chemical forums, I think I read that we weren't supposed to advertise for them or something.

    I'm glad that you post the picture, so others can see how ridiculous this companies gimmick's where/are.
  3. jejune
    Except, of course, for legal high tobacco lord Lorillard, who radiates "goodwill and prestige." ;)
  4. storkfmny
    I think it's funny as hell...I used to smoke Newports. They will make your skin feel greasy, I changed brands and the "greasy" skin stopped immediately afterward.
    One chemical company copying another!
    I roll my own now because of the chemicals in "tailored" smokes, I can actually taste the chemicals in them.
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