NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--RAW (BBK/HBI), the independent global brand of high-quality rolling papers and smoking innovations, today issued a statement about the most recent ruling by the federal District Court of the Northern District of Illinois denying Republic Tobacco’s motion for a new trial in its seven-year court battle against HBI International, the company that owns the RAW brand.
“We’ve long believed that our industry benefits when people in this space are truly familiar with the products and consumers,” said Josh Kesselman, founder and president of RAW. “We look forward to competition in the marketplace, based on innovation and quality. We’re hopeful that Republic now realizes that their litigation assault was both a waste of time and money and we can all do better by helping our industry during this time of transition, including those who were the pioneers in cannabis that are struggling to compete in the legal marketplace.”
In its ruling on Sept 22, 2023, denying Republic’s motion for a new trial, the judge rejected Republic’s argument that the jury could have found that consumers had been misled. The court ruled that there was no good basis for re-visiting Republic’s claims, finding that “Republic did not provide evidence at trial outside of the opinions of its own founder and corporate officer that a single consumer (whether end user or distributor) was misled.”
A jury previously found that Republic had willfully infringed on RAW’s trademark and copyright. This followed a seven-year litigation assault that Republic brought against RAW. The trial in this matter resulted in an award of damages to HBI of more than $1 million and, coupled with a prejudgment interest award, nearly $1.5 million in compensation to HBI. Read more about the June ruling here.