GLENVIEW, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Republic, the global leader in rolling papers and premium smoking accessories, today announced the company will continue its aggressive stance toward illicit imitation of its category-leading historic brands such as OCB, JOB and E-Z Wider.
The company’s ongoing nationwide efforts to protect its brands and customers from the sale of fake products continues to yield powerful consequences against companies and individuals selling counterfeit Republic products.
“Our strong stance on counterfeiters comes from an abundance of respect and care for our loyal customers,” said Don Levin, CEO of Republic. “The retailers and consumers that buy these counterfeit products are largely overlooking the dangers presented by unverified products. Being tough on counterfeiters is more than just an effort to protect our brands’ reputations, it is vital to also protect consumers from the substandard components often used in counterfeits.”
The company has filed numerous civil lawsuits to combat the spread of fake goods mimicking Republic brands, with courts imposing real and substantial judgments against counterfeiting companies and the individuals who run them. Just this year alone:
- In February, the federal court sentenced Irfanali and Shiba Momin to 18 months in prison following the 2020 criminal investigation and prosecution of the Momins, in which they pled guilty for selling counterfeit Republic products and other illegal goods.
- Republic won judgment on liability in two separate cases in Georgia federal court. In both cases, the court found that the companies—Inara Supplies and Gabsons Novelties—and their individual owners were liable for selling counterfeit Republic products. The court orders made absolutely clear that the owners’ claimed lack of knowledge of selling counterfeits was not a defense to liability. Republic is now headed toward trial on its request for millions of dollars in damages against not only the companies themselves but also against the owners personally.
- Just this month, Republic won a $1 million-plus judgment against Tien T. Nguyen (doing business as A1 Cigarette Cigar) in Texas, with the court entering final judgment against the defendant for selling counterfeit Republic products.
- Cases are also continuing against Star Importers & Wholesalers, ZCell Novelties, and their respective owners, with motions pending before the Georgia courts on liability against these companies and individuals who run them.
Republic will continue its vigorous pursuit and prosecution of all individuals and companies who traffic in counterfeit Republic-branded products, using all means available under the law. The company will continue to alert the authorities as to alleged criminal conduct, and file civil actions for damages, including treble damages, costs and attorneys’ fees.
Republic asks for the public to join in reporting counterfeit products by emailing email@example.com, or calling 1-800-288-8888.
Republic is a world leader in roll-your-own / make-your-own smoking products, with an extensive brand portfolio that includes the rich history of the OCB and JOB brands, along with many other well-known brands and products. With a 200-year-old cultural legacy, the family-owned company is known for its natural acacia gum adhesives, and product innovations such as sustainable bamboo, hemp and flax fiber papers and cones. Republic combines old-world artisan quality with modern sensibilities to bring consumers the best experience from plant to puff. Republic has a wide-reaching distribution network of 120 countries, with five manufacturing facilities across North America and Europe that distribute all over the world.