A few months back there was a rumor something epic was in production in Richmond (10 miles from us). Yesterday's harvest yielded a small stash most of which we sampled today. Behold...
Here's a highlight from our 55 pages of solid factual argument (Ace Counsel: Dorsey & Whitney, Seattle):
"Due to Trader Joe’s inability to bring an action against Hallatt under Canadian trademark law, Trader Joe’s seeks to use U.S. trademark law and U.S. courts to police Hallatt’s acts occurring in Canadian commerce.
This directly conflicts with Canadian law, as the rights which Trader Joe’s seeks to enforce in this action are rights, which Trader Joe’s does not possess under Canadian law."
The Huffington Post has a Top 17 Trader Joe's list up today. We admit to carrying 10 of the 17 (we have not yet figured out how to legally import TJ's meat products, booze or dairy)
We stock 1,2,3,7,10,11,12,13,14,15 Yes, we have Cookie Butter. ;-)
In October Trader Joe's was given leave to amend their complaint so they could try to find something on the books in Washington State that would support their claims.
They filed a bunch of nonsense last month and yesterday the court called them out on it.
Hopefully they will get new counsel and call us. We love Trader Joe's!
JUDGMENT BY COURT; Plaintiff does not state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Defendants' motion to dismiss is GRANTED. Because amendment would be futile, the case is DISMISSED with prejudice. (TF)
ORDER Granting Defts'  Motion to Dismiss Amended Complaint by Judge Marsha J. Pechman; The case is DISMISSED with prejudice. (TF)
Chason Gordon wrote an excellent article for Seattle Weekly titled "An Inside Look at Trader Joe’s Notorious Canadian Knock-Off".
"Curious about how his operation worked, I recently joined Hallatt on one of his shopping trips . . . sort of. Earlier in this excursion, the shoppers had hit nearly every Trader Joe’s in the state, beginning in Bellingham—the location most frequented by Vancouverites—and making their way down through Everett, Lynnwood, Ballard, Queen Anne, the U District, and lastly Capitol Hill, where I waited to meet them."
In May Trader Joe's filed suit against us in U.S. District Court For The Western DIstrict of Washington State. Their complaint relied on a Federal statute called The Lanham Act. We filed a Motion to Dismiss and it was granted with prejudice on October 4th by Chief United States District Judge Marsha Pechman. She gave Trader Joe's leave to amend their Complaint to support something called diversity jurisdiction over their state law claims. Trader Joe's filed an Amended Complaint on October 15th. They also filed a Motion For Reconsideration on October 16th but that was denied October 28th. We filed another Motion to Dismiss on October 29th. Trader Joe's filed their Opposition on November 18th. We filed our Reply on November 22nd. Normally that's it and we wait but Trader Joe's filed a Reply to our Reply called a Surreply. We hope we get a ruling this month.
Maya, Layla and Isabelle won a pumpkin carving contest at school after they explained to fellow students and their teachers how "they support Pirate Joe's because they are standing up to bullies". Made our day. :-)
US District Court denied Trader Joe's request for reconsideration of the dismissal of their complaint. Read the decision here Here is Trader Joe's amended complaint. We will defend ourselves against this one too.
In other news, we are managing to get supply but we are always out of stuff. Please keep your expectations in line with 'better than nothing'. Call first if you are making a special trip for something in particular.
Dear Trader Joe's,
Leave us alone, open a store in Vancouver or give your Canadian customers a better way to get their stuff. Asking families to make the trek over the border is unfair. We are open to ANY adjustment you want us to make but we will not roll over either. You have a great market for your great products here in Canada. Bellingham is not in Canada. Call us! We love you!
Melissa Francis interviewed me Monday for the Fox Business 'Spare Change' segment.
CBC's The National covered the story.
Stephen Quinn from the Early Edition had me on [early] to talk about the lawsuit.