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3M Shuts Down Price-Gouging Mask Seller’s Scheme in New York (1)

May 5, 2020, 2:41 PM

3M Co., the maker of the high-profile N95 mask, won a judge’s order blocking a New Jersey company from using 3M’s trademarks in a bid to sell the masks at marked-up prices as demand surges because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a lawsuit filed last month, 3M said Performance Supply Co. in Englishtown, New Jersey, falsely claimed to be an authorized 3M distributor and improperly used 3M logos. Performance Supply tried to sell 7 million masks to New York City’s Office of Citywide Procurement for $45 million, almost six times the regular cost, but the deal failed after the city contacted 3M.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska ordered Performance Supply to refrain from using 3M trademarks and from acting deceptively to sell the masks.

3M said in a statement that it’s pleased with the ruling and that its lawsuits seek to stop “unlawful and unethical behavior seeking to take advantage of this crisis.”

Performance Supply couldn’t be reached for comment.

3M has been using trademark protections to block sales of masks at inflated prices. It has filed eight trademark-infringement lawsuits in New York, Florida, California, Indiana and Wisconsin against individuals and companies.

Read More: Mask-Maker 3M Joins States in Fight Against Virus Price Gouging

The case is 3M Co. v. Performance Supply Co., 20-cv-02949, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

(Adds 3M comment)

To contact the reporters on this story:
Bob Van Voris in federal court in Manhattan at rvanvoris@bloomberg.net;
Susan Decker in Washington at sdecker1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
David Glovin at dglovin@bloomberg.net

Steve Stroth, Anthony Lin

© 2020 Bloomberg L.P. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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