Texas Trademark Lawyer Tamera Bennett

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Trader Joe's v. Pirate Joe's - U.S. Law Does Not Apply

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A U.S. District Judge in Seattle ruled that transporting and reselling unaltered "Trader Joe's" branded products in Canada does not give rise to a lawsuit for trademark infringement in the United States under U.S. trademark laws. Michael Hallatt owns "Pirate Joe's" a grocery store in Canada that resells "Trader Joe's" branded/trademark products.  "Trader Joe's" does not have any stores in Canada.  Hallatt pays retail prices for the goods and claims the goods at the border crossing.

Hallatt does not act to deceive his customers as to the source of the goods and he does not alter the goods or their packing.

The court found the facts did not rise to the level where U.S. Trademark law should be applied to acts in a foreign country.