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UPDATE: Raids Crack Down on Zig-Zag Counterfeiting

HARTFORD, Conn. — In June, on behalf of North Atlantic Operating Co. Inc. and National Tobacco Co. LP,  Cantor Colburn attorney Thomas Mango and paralegal Corine Wilkinson participated in two early morning raids led by U.S. marshals to seize counterfeit Zig-Zag cigarette paper products and business records at a commercial business and a residence in Plainfield and Moosup, Conn.

Each raid team consisted of two U.S. marshals, several investigators, several data and forensic specialists and an attorney/paralegal team from Venable executing seizure orders from the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut on a number of merchants and individuals found to be selling counterfeit Zig-Zag cigarette paper products.

Cantor Colburn attorney Michael Rye developed the strategy for the filing of the lawsuit and coordinated the process. Rye and Mango acted as local counsel for Marci Ballard and Samantha Rothaus of Venable LLP, on behalf of Louisville, Ky.-based North Atlantic and National Tobacco. Venable retained Cantor Colburn to serve as local counsel for the filing of this Connecticut lawsuit and to coordinate the execution of the seizure orders.

After the court issued a temporary restraining order and asset restraining order North Atlantic was seeking, Mango coordinated the raid logistics with the U.S. Marshals’ Office.

These seizure orders are part of North Atlantic’s strategy of zero tolerance against counterfeit goods imported into the United States.

“North Atlantic takes intellectual property infringement seriously and will prosecute known violators to the fullest extent of the law,” said Ballard, who was the lead attorney.

“We were proud to assist Venable in protecting North Atlantic’s intellectual property,” said Mango. “The U.S. marshals executed the seizure orders efficiently and professionally. They did exceptional work to uphold the law.”

Similar efforts against counterfeit Zig-Zag products have resulted in the seizure of businesses, significant multi-million dollar judgments and criminal liability with federal prison sentences and deportation.

Zig-Zag cigarette paper products are a popular brand of rolling papers that originated in France. The papers, which come in five sizes, are made largely from flax, and use natural gum Arabic.


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