Philip Morris USA Sues Retailer for Selling Counterfeit Cigarettes

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Philip Morris USA Sues Retailer for Selling Counterfeit Cigarettes

Philip Morris USA (PM USA) files a lawsuit in U. S. District Court against Mastic, N.Y.-based Tammy's Smoke Shop for selling counterfeit versions of the company's Marlboro brand cigarettes. The lawsuit is aimed at stopping the sale of counterfeit cigarettes and the unauthorized use of PM USA's trademarks. PM USA's action follows a seizure Tuesday by Suffolk County police of 184 cartons of counterfeit cigarettes bearing Marlboro brand trademarks.

"The sale of counterfeit cigarettes undermines the value of Philip Morris USA's brands and the legitimate channels through which our products are distributed and sold," says Joe Murillo, vice president and associate general counsel, Altria Client Services speaking on behalf of PM USA. "Selling counterfeit cigarettes is illegal, and we will take appropriate action to protect our brands."

The lawsuit was prompted by consumer complaints to PM USA's call center. As a follow-up to the calls, agents for the company purchased cartons of counterfeit versions of Marlboro brand cigarettes from Tammy's Smoke Shop. The suit follows the seizure of counterfeit cigarettes by Suffolk County authorities, with whom the company cooperated.