DENVER (BRAIN) — A U.S. District Court in Colorado has issued a temporary restraining order against the former U.S. distributor of Squirt chain lube. Squirt's South African manufacturer alleges its former distributor, Squirt LLC, is now selling counterfeit Squirt lube.
Squirt is owned by Bikinvention 2 CC, a South African company. The order was issued Friday against Squirt LLC, based in Park City, Utah, and its owner, John Tucker. Reached by BRAIN on Wednesday, Tucker said he would have no comment on the case.
"Our previous distributor in the U.S. supplied distributors and the market generally with counterfeit Squirt Lube," said Dewet Marais, co-owner of Squirt Lube. "We would like all relevant sections of the industry — wholesalers, retailers, consumers — to know we are actively working to protect our brand."
Bikinvention 2 CC charges that Squirt LLC, and Tucker are producing a counterfeit and inferior version of the lube. They said the lube that Tucker is selling is sold in bottles that look nearly identical to the real product, but the lube is more yellow in color, and stickier, than the real Squirt Lube.
Bikinvention alleges that Tucker is "intentionally trying to diminish the value of the Squirt brand as one step in a plan to introduce onto the bike-lubricant market a rival product, Enduro, that (Tucker) can market as a superior product to the brand they sought to sabotage."
The temporary order expires May 14 unless the court renews it; Bikinvention must file a motion to extend the order by Wednesday, and Tucker must respond by Friday.
The company is asking retailers to recall any counterfeit lube they've already sold, destroy it and then photograph the destroyed product and send the images to Squirt's current U.S. distributor, John Davis, at email@example.com .
Marais said the counterfeit products encountered so far have had white caps on the bottles, while genuine Squirt has blue caps.