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Phillip Morris files complaint with ITC over illegally imported cigarettes

BY Diana Alickaj

RICHMOND , Va. The International Trade Commission has received a complaint filed by Phillip Morris USA to stop Internet-based cigarette vendors from selling illegally imported cigarettes and shipping them to the United States.

PM USA has alleged that the Internet companies are branding gray market cigarettes with the PM USA trademarks as well as the Marlboro mark, which the company claims is in violation of U.S. intellectual property laws and the Lanham Act, according to published reports.

Charlie Whitaker, vice president of Compliance and Brand Integrity for Phillip Morris stated that “Our brands are among our company’s most valuable assets, and we take many steps to protect them. Today, we are asking the ITC to issue an order to block hundreds of Internet vendors from bringing gray market cigarettes into the U.S.”

Phillip Morris’s plea for the blocking of cigarette imports from outside the USA is known as a general exclusion order, which would involve the U.S. Customs and Border Protection in halting all infringing imports from entering the U.S. The company has named 13 Web sites in the complaint and also identified an extra 177 additional Web sites engaged in illegal importation of cigarettes.

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LIV Natural to appear on Whole Foods, Kings Super Markets shelves

BY Jenna Duncan

PRINCETON, N.J. More East Coast retailers will carry LIV Natural, an all-natural energy and sports drink, the company said today.

Ritorna Natural, the maker of LIV Natural, announced that several more grocery store chains, including D’Agostino, Kings Super Markets and Whole Foods, will carry the fruit-flavored sports beverage.

LIV Natural was already stocked in about half a dozen other grocery chains in the Northeast.

LIV Natural is available in berry, citrus passion, lemon and orange flavors. All four flavors are offered in 12 ounces and 20 ounces.  LIV Natural retails for about $1.29 to $1.99 for the 20-ounce bottle.

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Nestle announces plans to expand frozen foods plant

BY Jenna Duncan

SOLON, Ohio Nestle Prepared Foods Co. announced today plans to expand its frozen foods manufacturing plant in Jonesboro, Ark.

The proposed expansion will cost more than $60 million and bring about 200 news jobs to Jonesboro.

A 50,000-square-foot addition to the frozen food facility will allow enough space for the installation of a new production line and new bakery to produce Stouffer’s and Lean Cuisine brand frozen pizzas.

Executives at Nestle said the current growth of the company is largely due to the successes of the Stouffer’s and Lean Cuisine brands—sales leaders in the frozen foods industry.

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