Personal Jurisdiction and the Scope of Electric Tobacconist Contracts
Electric Tobacconists is a small privately owned cigarette distributor in the United States. It is one of many small vapinger.com distributors of electronic cigarettes. Because the Pre-marketsation Tobacco Authorization deadline of Sept 9th, 2021, Electric Tobacconist USA no more carries any products or brands that are conforming to the FDA PMTA regulations. There is a post written by someone who claimed to become a former employee stating that Electric Tobacconist was one of the companies in the tobacco industry that was most difficult to market cigarettes to. The complete article can be viewed at the bottom of the article.
Now, we have an opportunity to have a look at the events which occurred prior to the Electric Tobacconist closing down. On or around 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 have been not satisfied with the way the electronic cigarette market had been regulated. At that point with time there were no federal laws that put on the industry. There was no chance to obtain personal jurisdiction over the companies involved in the cigarette manufacturing and distribution.
In that same month there were reports of Electronic Cigarette Vending Machine Dwindling. It had been reported by the Associated Press that the sale of non-nicotine flavored e-juice products, was now forbidden by the e-juice manufacturers because 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 maker wished to distribute Nicotine-containing liquids to smokers within 15 business days, while the e tobacconist was ready 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 that they needed. This contract and the next dispute arose from a difference in timing. The Electric Tobacconist waited an extra fifteen days to place their second order. The e-juice manufacturer’s timing for placing their second order was also different than that of the e Tobaccconists.
You can find two primary services contained in a Tobacco Product Warranty. They are: Quality Service and Customer Reliability. The term quality service encompasses the entire package that is included with the electric tobacconist. This might include but not limited to, the packaging, the Nicotine-filled liquids which were to be sold, customer support, the product 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 purchase a Nicotine-infused item, such as, gum, a pipe or perhaps a lollipop, using a credit card. This requirement was to be fulfilled by the client using an “authorized user” id. The maker required the age verification and requested that this proof be presented at time of checkout. On the night time of the initial day of using the products, the customer pointed out that the e-juice was not made available to him and that he was not 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 he was now calling back all of them individually. On the next day, he was calling both first and second manager and that, on the 3rd day, he was calling the third manager and that at that point, he was told that he could purchase his Nicotine-infused items at the store.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) can be an “applicable law” body. This body, having regard to the “relevance” of the products and services included in commerce, specifically to the subject-matter of the products and services contained in the transaction, has issued consistent rules and rulings with regards 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 didn’t contend that the e-juice company had violated any applicable law, like the rules of federal jurisdiction, like the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”). The key reason why the Electric Tobacconist preferred to file this suit against 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 pay 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 was not a party to the contract, and had not been a consumer of the product sold by the franchisor. For purposes of assessing the probability of an abuse of personal jurisdiction, we think it might be more appropriate to consider whether the conduct complained of occurred within the context of the relationship between the franchisor and its own franchisees. In light of this analysis, it appears that the dismissal of the complaint must have been upheld if the plaintiff had been a celebration to the contract. It really is unlikely that this argument would have been considered by the lower court. We concur.