Personal Jurisdiction and the Scope of Electric Tobacconist Contracts
Electric Tobacconists is a small privately owned cigarette distributor in the usa. It is one of many small distributors of electronic cigarettes. Because the Pre-marketsation Vape Pen Tobacco Authorization deadline of Sept 9th, 2021, Electric Tobacconist USA no longer carries any products or brands that are conforming to the FDA PMTA regulations. There was a post written by someone who claimed to become a former employee stating that Electric Tobacconist was among the companies in the tobacco industry that was most difficult to market cigarettes to. The complete article can be viewed in the bottom of this article.
Now, we’ve an opportunity to have a look at the events which took place before the Electric Tobacconist closing down. On or about Apr 3, 2021, a class action suit was filed against several companies involved in the electronic cigarette market. The class action suit was brought by a group of individuals who were not satisfied with the way the electronic cigarette market had been regulated. At that point in time there have been no federal laws that put on the industry. There was no way to obtain personal jurisdiction over the companies mixed up in cigarette manufacturing and distribution.
In that same month there have been reports of Electronic Cigarette Vending Machine Dwindling. It was reported by the Associated Press that the sale of non-nicotine flavored e-juice products, was now forbidden by the e-juice manufacturers since they believed that it could hurt their profits. This is where we see the first contract between an e-juice manufacturer and an e Tobaccconist. The manufacturer wished to distribute Nicotine-containing liquids to smokers within 15 business days, while the e tobacconist was willing to supply them with e-juice in a shorter period of time.
The Electric Tobacconist decided to the terms, the e-juice company provided them making use of their examples of e-juices and within 15 business days, the manufacturer supplied them with the Nicotine-rich liquids they needed. This contract and the next dispute arose from the difference in timing. The Electric Tobacconist waited an extra fifteen days to put their second order. The e-juice manufacturer’s timing for placing their second order was also unique of that of the e Tobaccconists.
You can find two primary services included in a Tobacco Product Warranty. These are: Quality Service and Customer Reliability. The word quality service encompasses the complete package that is included with the electric tobacconist. This would include but not limited by, the packaging, the Nicotine-filled liquids which were to be sold, customer care, the merchandise warranty, the return policy, shipping, billing and payment arrangements.
The dispute between the Electric Tobacconist and the e-juice company stemmed from the e-juice company requiring that their customers buy a Nicotine-infused item, such as, gum, a pipe or a lollipop, using a credit card. This requirement was to be fulfilled by the client utilizing an “authorized user” id. The manufacturer required this verification and requested that the age proof be presented at time of checkout. On the night of the first day of using these products, the customer pointed out that the e-juice had not been made available to him and that he had not been able to purchase them. He subsequently informed the manager of the e-juice company he had received two phone calls from the electric tobacconist and that he was now calling back each of them individually. On the second day, he was calling both first and second manager and that, on the 3rd day, he was calling the 3rd manager and that at that point, he was told he could purchase his Nicotine-infused items at the store.
AMERICA Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) is an “applicable law” body. This body, having regard to the “relevance” of the products and services contained in commerce, specifically to the subject-matter of the goods and services included in the transaction, has issued consistent rules and rulings with respect to the scope of the “exclusivity” rule in the Uniform Commercial Code. The Electric Tobacconist did not file suit against the e-juice company at that time because he did not think that the e-juice company had breached the exclusive rights provided to him beneath the Uniform Commercial Code; he did not contend that the e-juice company had violated any other applicable law, including the rules of federal jurisdiction, like the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”). The key reason why the Electric Tobacconist preferred to file this suit contrary to the e-juice company was because, in his view, the e-juice company had violated the Anti-Trust laws, like the St. Louis Circuit Court of Appeals (” Circuit”), which had previously ordered the company to cover the Electric Tobacconist and/or his franchisees a large-scale judgment tax for circumventing the legitimate authority of the franchisor, namely, the franchisor’s direct seller, which included the e-juice manufacturer.
In relevant circumstances, the dismissal of the complaint must have been in line with the grounds that, the plaintiff had not been a party to the contract, and had not been a consumer of the merchandise sold by the franchisor. For purposes of assessing the likelihood of an abuse of personal jurisdiction, we think it could be more appropriate to consider whether the conduct complained of occurred within the context of the partnership between the franchisor and its franchisees. In light of that analysis, it would appear that the dismissal of the complaint must have been upheld if the plaintiff have been a celebration to the contract. It really is unlikely that such an argument would have been considered by the lower court. We concur.