Faegre Drinker announced that the firm has filed a lawsuit on behalf of 3M Company in federal court in Indiana against Nevada-based Zachary Puznak and Zenger LLC (d/b/a ZeroAqua) for an alleged unauthorized use of 3M’s famous trademarks to perpetrate a false and deceptive price gouging scheme on unwitting customers and consumers, including the state of Indiana, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The lawsuit asserts that Defendants falsely claimed to be receiving the “counsel of executives from 3M” while seeking between $285 million and $14.25 billion to sell much-needed respirators to the state of Indiana as an “Easter gift.” 3M has no affiliation with the Defendants and Defendants likely had no access to legitimate 3M-branded respirators. The complaint seeks preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, and 3M will donate any damages, costs or fees it recovers to COVID-19 charitable relief efforts.
Faegre Drinker partner John W. Ursu is leading a multi-office team of Business Litigation and Intellectual Property litigators in representation of 3M, including Indianapolis partners Kathy L. Osborn and Louis T. Perry, Minneapolis partner Kerry L. Bundy, and associates Isaac B. Hall and Kiera K. Murphy.
3M has filed a series of similar legal actions over the past two weeks across the United States. The company is working with national and international law enforcement, state attorneys general, and the largest online retail and tech companies in the world to identify illegal activity and help punish criminals, with the end goal being to prevent fraud before it starts and stop it where it is happening.