Trader Joe's sues Canadian resale store Pirate Joe's

Aug. 16, 2013 at 2:33 PM
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- A Canadian man whose Pirate Joe's store in British Columbia is devoted to reselling goods from U.S. store Trader Joe's is being sued by the chain.

Michael Hallatt, 53, said he has spent more than $350,000 at Trader Joe's in less than two years as part of his business, which is dedicated to reselling goods from the store, which has no Canadian presence, at his own Vancouver shop, The San Francisco Chronicle reported Friday.

Hallatt said he makes weekly trips to Trader Joe's to purchase thousands of dollars worth of items to resell at Pirate Joe's.

"I'm their best customer," he said.

The Washington state federal court lawsuit alleges federal trademark infringement; unfair competition, false endorsement and false designation of origin; false advertising; federal trademark dilution; injury to business and reputation; and deceptive business practices.

Hallatt, whose lawyers have filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, said he is continuing his weekly trips to Trader Joe's, although most stores in the Pacific Northwest have banned him from shopping at the locations and posted his picture for employees.

Hallatt said he is protesting the lawsuit by removing the "P" from his sign, making it "Irate Joe's."

"Trader Joe's thinks Canadians are too ignorant not to tell the difference between the empire and my little shop on Fourth Avenue," he said.

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