If Disney thought leaks from the sets of the new Star Wars movies was a problem, they haven’t seen anything like this. Numerous different companies are using the name “Darth Vapor” and Darth Vader’s image in association with e-cigarettes and vaping products that have caused severe health issues and now one of these companies is even trying to register the DARTH VAPOR trademark.
This issue came to my attention when trolling through the latest trademark filings. In March 2015, the trademark registration that can be seen to the right was filed for the DARTH VAPOR mark to cover “electronic cigarette liquids”. The trademark was filed by Rad Glass Inc doing business as “Darth Vapor Corporation”” out of Texas; you can also see their products in the image below. A few weeks a go, Disney was granted an extension of time to oppose the filing of the trademark application. The mark is clearly a parody of the DARTH VADER mark and it is easy to say how the two marks are confusingly similar. While the mark may be a parody, this does not justify the registration of a mark, it is merely is a defense to claims of infringement. It doesn’t help Rad Glass’s cause that they are using the DARTH VAPOR mark in their business name and this opens them up to a trademark infringement lawsuit as well.
While this current opposition pends, there are a whole bunch of Darth Vapors to take on as apparently everyone and their droid is using the name, “Darth Vapor”. In New Jersey, there are two different vaping stores that contain the word “Darth Vapor” and there are several other companies using the name to distribute their vaping products. In May 2015, police issued warnings concerning several seizure-inducing overdoses suffered by minors that have been traced to a synthetic cannabis solution called “Darth Vapor”used in e-cigarettes. A company that distributes its own Darth Vapor e-liquid that owns the darthvapor.com domain tried to distance itself from the seizure inducing product by putting warnings on its website. The company doesn’t want people to confuse the two Darth Vapor products…how ironic.
Obviously, this is a huge problem for Disney as these companies are attracting minors and other geeks to their potentially dangerous products using both the DARTH VADER trademark and images. Below are just some of the image used by these websites and products in association with their products. Using a similar trademark and copyrighted images may fool people to believe that these prodcucts are associated with and affiliated with Disney and Star Wars when they are not. Disney has taking the first step in gearing up its opposition to the DARTH VAPOR trademark but it has a whole lot of rebel scum that the Empire must defeat.