Sunday, August 18, 2013

Trader Joe's Suing Canadian Who Buys in Bulk and Resells North of Border

Posted By on Sun, Aug 18, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Pirate Joes in Vancouver, B.C. recently changed its name to Irate Joes.
  • Pirate Joe's in Vancouver, B.C., recently changed its name to Irate Joe's.

When Trader Joe's opens up its still-under-construction Boise location—exepcted to swing its doors open in 2014—they'll be on the lookout for a self-dubbed "pirate" who has been buying Trader Joe's products in bulk and re-selling them north of the border.

Michael Hallatt has opened a shop in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, called Pirate Joe's, which sells what Hallatt calls unauthorized specialized groceries. He buys his supply at Trader Joe's locations in the U.S. He insists that he is obeying all customs laws and "imports legally" to Canada.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that California-based Trader Joe's, which only has stores in the U.S., has filed a lawsuit against Hallatt, saying he is infringing on trademarks and is guilty of "false endorsement and false advertising."

Hallatt's response? He took the "P" down from his store sign and now calls his shop "Irate Joe's."

Meanwhile, Hallatt's photo has been posted near managers' desks at a number of northwest Trader Joe's locations.

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