LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Zippo and the nation's third-biggest tobacco company are battling over the Blu brand name being used for both Zippo lighters and a hugely popular electronic cigarette.
Zippo, based in Bradford, Pennsylvania, says it owns the Blu trademark for a line of blue-flame butane lighters and is asking the court to prevent Lorillard from using it. Zippo first filed for the Blu trademark in 2005 and began selling the product in 2007.
Lorillard, based in Greensboro, North Carolina, acquired the Blu brand in 2012 and Blu now accounts for almost half of all e-cigarettes sold. It is asking the court to order the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to dismiss Zippo's challenge.
Zippo Manufacturing Co. and a subsidiary of Lorillard Inc. have both filed complaints in U.S. District Court in California.