The maker of 5-Hour Energy drinks is suing to stop an extensive counterfeiting network.
Living Essentials reports that it recently identified and shut down the counterfeiters' alleged factory in San Diego and obtained court orders to seize tens of thousands of illegal and fraudulent 5-Hour Energy bottles and machinery used to produce them.
According to court papers, the counterfeit bottles were very similar in appearance to genuine 5-Hour Energy bottles, but slightly shorter and without a raised mark in the center of each bottle cap. Dissatisfied customers have complained the counterfeits "did not provide any energy," according to a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. In addition, the bottles' trademark "running man" is heavier-set on the fake 5-Hour Energy labels. The counterfeits also tasted and smelled differently and contained no vitamin B12.
Real 5-Hour Energy, sold in 1.93-ounce bottles, claims to contain 833 percent of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's recommended daily intake of B12. Living Essentials says it is unaware of any serious adverse reactions to the counterfeit product.
The company received orders from federal judges in New York and San Francisco to seize counterfeit products and business records. Living Essentials is seeking $25 million in damages and all profits obtained through the alleged counterfeit scheme.