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3M Gets More Settlements in Campaign Against Mask Price-Gouging

June 22, 2020, 3:03 PM

3M Co. settled with two more companies who it says unfairly took advantage of the Covid-19 outbreak by infringing its trademarks and gouging the prices of its N95 masks, according to federal court filings in Wisconsin and Florida.

The Friday filings continue the trend of speedy resolutions of cases between 3M and those named in its nationwide litigation campaign.

3M has sued over a dozen entities around the country that it says are falsely claiming to be authorized 3M distributors and taking advantage of the Covid-19 crisis to sell N95 masks at marked-up prices. Courts have tended to award 3M quick restraining orders and injunctions barring defendants from continuing to use its trademarks, and many of the cases have settled just as quickly.

3M and Hulomil LLC told the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin Friday that they had settled their dispute. The parties jointly moved to enter a permanent injunction blocking Hulomil from selling 3M’s products except through an authorized distributor, holding itself out as an authorized distributor, or using 3M’s trademarks unless it’s dealing with an authorized distributor.

3M’s complaint had accused Hulomil of offering N95 masks for 250% to 350% more than 3M’s list price. The parties had agreed to a preliminary injunction barring Hulomil from using 3M’s trademarks May 21, less than a month after the complaint was filed.

A Florida federal judge dismissed 3M’s case against TAC2 Global LLC Friday after the parties told the court that they had settled. 3M sued TAC2 April 30 and won a temporary restraining order May 13 barring it from holding itself out as an authorized 3M distributor.

TAC2 told Bloomberg Law after the complaint was filed that it bought the masks from a global distributor and had been “open and transparent” about the reasons for its increased prices, including financing and transport costs.

Two other entities that were also sued by 3M in Florida on April 30—1 Ignite Capital LLC and law firm King Law Center, Chartered—both settled with 3M on May 15.

The cases are 3M Co. v. Hulomil LLC, W.D. Wis., No. 3:20-cv-00394, motion for entry of consent judgment filed 6/19/20, 3M Co. v. TAC2 Global LLC, M.D. Fla., No. 8:20-cv-01003, case dismissed 6/19/20, 3M Co. v. King Law Center, Chartered, M.D. Fla., No. 6:20-cv-00760, joint notice of settlement filed 5/15/20, and 3M Co. v. 1 Ignite Capital LLC, N.D. Fla., No. 4:20-cv-00225, notice of settlement filed 5/15/20.

To contact the reporter on this story: Blake Brittain in Washington at bbrittain@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rob Tricchinelli at rtricchinelli@bloomberglaw.com; Steven Patrick at spatrick@bloomberglaw.com

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