Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 12:32 pm
Pirate Joe's, the grocery store that made waves — and attracted a lawsuit — for selling Trader Joe's items in Canada, has won a battle in its legal fight with the supermarket chain. A U.S. district court judge has granted the Vancouver store's motion to dismiss a trademark infringement lawsuit.
After the lawsuit was filed, Pirate Joe's took on the name _Irate Joe's. The store's owner, Mike Hallatt, says he began his enterprise on a small scale last year, driving groceries across the border from Washington State to Vancouver. Trader Joe's does not operate any stores in Canada.
Unauthorized, unaffiliated and unafraid reads the sign outside of Michael Hallatt's store in Canada. He is the owner of Pirate Joe’s, a small reselling store in Vancouver, Canada, that sells, among other things, Trader Joe’s products. He began by buying items from a Trader Joe’s in Bellingham and trucking them across the border to stock his shelves.
When Trader Joe’s realized what Hallat was doing, they were not very pleased. Now Hallat is fighting a lawsuit filed by Trader Joe's while continuing to smuggle peanut butter-stuffed pretzels across the border. So how does a store like his operate? The pirate himself explains.