Duracell Sues Wholesaler Over Grey Market Batteries

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Berkshire Hathaway’s battery-maker Duracell has sued a St. Louis-based battery wholesaler that is selling grey market Duracell batteries in the U.S. market.

The wholesaler, JRS Ventures Inc., has been sued for trademark infringement by Duracell in The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

According to Duracell the batteries were never intended for direct purchase by consumers.

In its lawsuit, Duracell noted:

“Although the batteries appear to be authentic Duracell products, many of them were manufactured in China, for the sole purpose of being distributed to [original equipment manufacturers] only, and not for the importation and direct sale to consumers in the United States,” Duracell states in its filing.

While Duracell admits that the batteries are genuine, it notes that the batteries that JRS Ventures are selling lack Duracell’s consumer information and its 10-year guarantee.

Duracell asserts that purchasers of the batteries “are likely to be confused and indeed disappointed.”

“Further, such sales of infringing products cause great damage to Duracell and greatly damage the goodwill in Duracell’s valuable trademarks.”

Duracell is asking for the court to halt the sale of the batteries and award unspecified punitive and triple damages.

© 2017 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.