KGMI News Reporting
By Karen Taylor
BELLINGHAM, Wash. – A Vancouver, B.C. man who resells Trader Joe’s products across the border is being sued by the company.
The popular grocer’s lawsuit accuses Michael Hallatt of copyright infringement, unfair competition, trademark dilution, injury to reputation and deceptive business practices.
Hallatt says the suit is a red herring.
Hallatt says because he pays full market value for anything he gets at the Bellingham Trader Joe’s, he has the right to do whatever he wants with his ‘booty’ after he’s bought it.
He sells the items at his resell store called ‘Irate Joe’s’, originally ‘Pirate Joe’s’ in the Kitsilano neighborhood in Vancouver.
He says a manager at the Bellingham Trader Joe’s initially helped him come up with the idea.
He even got help picking the most popular products to buy, but the arrangement turned sour when a regional manager found out.
Hallatt is banned from the Bellingham location and other Trader Joe’s stores farther south are starting to turn him away.