The Maplewood, Minn.-based corporation sued Performance Supply in federal court earlier this month, accusing the New Jersey–based company of misrepresenting a business relationship as it tried to charge New York City prices 500-600% higher than the 3M-listed price on the respirators.
U.S. District Court Judge Loretta Preska on Friday granted the temporary order and gave the company less than a week to explain why it shouldn’t be made permanent, according to a report by Law360. Preska also ordered Performance Supply to reappear in court May 4, the report said.
3M claims that on March 30, Performance Supply sent a formal quote to New York City’s Office of Citywide Procurement with an offer to sell millions of 3M-branded N95 respirators at an inflated price of about $45 million. Performance Supply is not an authorized distributor of 3M products and has “no rights to use [3M’s] famous 3M marks,” 3M’s lawyers said in the complaint.
3M accuses Performance Supply of federal and state trademark infringement, unfair competition, false association, false endorsement, false designation of origin, trademark dilution, false advertising and deceptive acts and practices.
“This lawsuit is one of the multiple actions 3M is taking to combat fraud and protect the public against price gouging and counterfeiting of N95 respirators,” said 3M VP and associate general counsel for litigation Courtney Enloe in a prepared statement. “We are pleased that the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York has granted temporary relief and hope it will become permanent… 3M will continue to take direct legal action where appropriate, while supporting federal and state government authorities as they work to prevent price gouging and other improper business practices related to COVID-19.”