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June 28, 2017

Playboy Awarded $19M Against Play Beverages, CirTran Beverage

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.—The Circuit Court of Cook County in Chicago, Ill., increased the judgment in favor of Playboy Enterprises and against Play Beverages LLC and CirTran Beverage Corp. to nearly $19 million. In October 2016, a jury unanimously found that Play Beverages, LLC/CirTran Beverage Corp intentionally sold energy drinks under Playboy's trademarks knowing the marks were counterfeit. Following that verdict, the court issued a permanent injunction against Play Beverages, LLC, CirTran Beverage Corp. and persons associated with them, including their principal, Iehab Hawatmeh, along with their agents and distributors.   The injunction orders them to immediately stop manufacturing, selling, promoting, and advertising all products and services in conjunction with the Playboy brand or any confusingly similar trademark. The injunction applies to Playboy Energy Drinks, as well as their use of the Playboy brand on any other products and services. On June 23, the Court denied the request of Play Beverages/CirTran Beverage for a new trial, upheld the jury's findings and tripled the trademark infringement award in Playboy's favor from $5 million to $15 million.  The court also awarded to Playboy attorneys' fees and costs of suit.   The enforceable judgment as modified by the court now totals almost $19 million. Playboy said in a statement it will continue to strongly enforce its judgment and injunction against Play Beverages/CirTran Beverage to stop Iehab Hawatmeh's companies from engaging in infringing and counterfeiting activities. In addition, Playboy will continue to defend its trademarks vigorously throughout the world as Playboy has done in this case. Playboy's trial counsel were Pete Ross of Browne George Ross LLP and Edward Feldman of Miller Shakman & Beem LLP. 

 
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