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As reported in Law360 and IP Watchdog, by formally denying a certiorari petition, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a $11 million judgment for Republic Brands, a global leader in rolling papers and smoking accessories, in a highly-contested counterfeiting case dating back to 2019. The Supreme Court refused to hear a petition filed by defendants held liable for willful counterfeiting, cementing wins at every court level for client Republic Brands. Maia Woodhouse, lead attorney and Adams and Reese Global IP Partner, commented, “The defendants have no further avenue for recourse. This validates Republic Brands’s efforts to protect its reputation and, most importantly, consumer trust. We are proud to support Republic Brands in its fight to keep fakes out of the market, every step of the way.”

In 2019, Republic Brands seized thousands of counterfeit rolling papers from the defendants’ warehouse in Georgia, resulting in an $11 million jury verdict against the business and its owner. Unable to deny that his company had sold counterfeit goods, the owner tried to overturn the finding that he was personally responsible for the judgment. The Eleventh Circuit Court upheld Republic Brands’s summary judgment and trial wins, and the Supreme Court’s denial of certiorari closes the door on the defendants’ “final gasp” to avoid liability. This victory is the latest in a series of successful legal actions by Republic Brands and Adams and Reese against the companies selling counterfeits and their owners.

The case is Top Tobacco, L.P. v. Diamond J Wholesale, LLC, Case No. 1:19-cv-2148-LMM, -- F. Supp. --, 2021 WL 4295146 (N.D. Ga. Feb. 16, 2021), amended on reconsideration sub nom. Top Tobacco, L.P. v. Panjwani, -- F. Supp. --, 2021 WL 1351443 (N.D. Ga. Mar. 15, 2021), aff’d per curiam sub nom. Top Tobacco, L.P. v. Gabsons Novelties, No. 22-10926, -- F.4th --, 2023 WL 5372541 (11th Cir. Aug. 22, 2023), cert. denied, -- S.Ct. --, 2024 WL 218807 (Jan. 22, 2024).

Adams and Reese Global IP Practice: Adams and Reese, a multidisciplinary law firm with over 300 attorneys and advisors in 20 offices, represents businesses across the globe in many diverse areas of intellectual property law, including anti-counterfeiting, trademark, digital business, privacy and data protection, franchising, distribution, intellectual property litigation, tax-efficient intellectual property structures, intellectual property litigation and dispute resolution, and transactional intellectual property. The Adams and Reese Anti-Counterfeiting team advocates a partnership approach with clients to combat counterfeiting and piracy, leveraging a global network of contacts from major e-commerce sites, social media platforms, payment intermediaries, law enforcement agencies, and rights-holders.