A Vancouver businessman, Michael Hallat, makes a living shopping at Trader Joe’s in the U.S. and then reselling the goods at his Pirate Joe’s Vancouver store in Kitsilano. He was then sued by Trader Joe’s for alleged trademark infringement and false advertising.
The legal battle is over as the lawsuit has been dismissed. Judge Marsha Pechman ruled there was no basis to apply a U.S. law as the alleged infringements take place in Canada and does not inflict U.S. economic harm.
Trader Joe’s argument was on the basis that around 40 per cent of its customers base pay (who pay via credit card) at its Bellingham location are non U.S. residents. It is inferred from there that the majority of those 40 percent are coming from Canada.
Trader Joe’s has 390 stores in America and none in Canada. Trader Joe’s has 10 days to file an appeal
Hallatt claims to be spending around $4,000 to $5,000 a week at Trader Joe’s in Bellingham, Washington. He then stocks his shelves at the Vancouver store and prices them a little higher to cover costs of transportation and other variable costs.
If Trader Joe’s opened a store in Vancouver, Hallat said he would close up shop.
Pirate Joe’s Vancouver Address2348 W 4th Avenue
Image: ABC News via Michael Hallat