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October 25, 2016

Playboy Enterprises Wins $7 Million Verdict in Energy Drink Case

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — A jury has returned a unanimous verdict in favor of Playboy Enterprises and against Play Beverages and CirTran Beverage, awarding Playboy $7 million in damages. The case was brought in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, as Play Beverages/CirTran continued to sell and to market energy drink products using Playboy trademarks, even though the license to use such trademarks had ended. Following a full trial, the jury issued a complete victory to Playboy on all counts. The jury found that PlayBev/CirTran committed counterfeiting and willful trademark infringement and engaged in willful deceptive practices. The jury also determined that the license agreement had ended and Play Beverages had breached the agreement. In a further validation of Playboy’s actions, the jury concluded that Playboy had not breached the agreement or interfered with CirTran’s contracts with distributors, and did not act in bad faith or engage in conspiracy. The jury rejected all of PlayBev’s/CirTran’s claims. The verdict makes clear that no one other than Playboy has legitimate rights to use the Playboy brand in connection with energy drink products. Playboy said it will strongly enforce its favorable judgment against PlayBev/CirTran to stop Iehab Hawatmeh  — a principal of the defeated Play Beverages and CirTran Beverage, as well as of CirTran Corporation — and his companies from engaging in infringing and counterfeiting activities. In addition, Playboy will continue to vigorously defend its trademarks throughout the world as it has done in this case. Playboy’s trial counsel were Pete Ross of Browne George Ross LLP and Eddie Feldman of Miller Shakman & Beem LLP.   

 
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