3M files new trademark lawsuit in string of price gouging allegations News
Engin_Akyurt / Pixabay
3M files new trademark lawsuit in string of price gouging allegations

3M filed a federal trademark infringement suit Tuesday against a medical supplies company for the resale of N95 masks to the state of Wisconsin at inflated prices.

Similar to previous litigation initiated by the country’s largest producer of N95 masks surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the suit filed against Hulomil LLC alleges that the “deplorable pandemic profiteer” used the 3M trademark to mislead Wisconsin in believing that the inflated prices of two to three times the actual price of the N95 masks were authorized by 3M.

According to the complaint, “Hulomil recently used 3M’s famous marks as part of a price-gouging scheme to deceive the State of Wisconsin’s Department of Administration into believing that Hulomil had direct access to 3M to sell hundreds of thousands of 3M-brand N95 respirators at a price several multiples of the 3M list price.”

“Hulomil did everything it could to suggest that Wisconsin would be dealing essentially directly with 3M—and thus to associate 3M with its price gouging.”

In addition to the “exploitive pricing behavior,” the complaint alleges that Hulomil required Wisconsin to sign a nondisclosure agreement surrounding the sale of some 250,000 masks.

In a press release reporting their first-quarter 2020 results published also on Tuesday, 3M doubled down on efforts to combat fraud and price gouging during the pandemic, including working with authorities “to bring lawsuits in multiple states and Canada.”

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