Home Lawsuits The RAW Rolling Papers Lawsuit: A Seven-Year Legal Odyssey Culminates in Victory

The RAW Rolling Papers Lawsuit: A Seven-Year Legal Odyssey Culminates in Victory


The Raw rolling papers lawsuit had a long seven year battle. As a result of the lawsuit, the RAW brand received a very huge victory against the company Republic Tobacco. Because of this winning, RAW now has a firm position in the industry as a leader in smoking accessories and rolling papers. The final verdict for the lawsuit was given on 2023, June. Before that, followed a strong chain of legal battle, about which, we are going to offer you a sneak peak. 

Raw rolling papers lawsuit

Background of the Lawsuit

The legal struggle started in 2016 when HBI International’s RAW brand recognized similarities between Republic’s OCB Organic Hemp paper packaging and its Organic Hemp product packaging. A concern turned into a seven-year legal fight over state and federal allegations and counterclaims.

In 2016, RAW’s owner, HBI International, uncovered troubling similarities between Republic’s OCB Organic Hemp paper packaging and RAW’s Organic Hemp product packaging. This discovery sparked a seven-year state and federal court battle including counterclaims. Republic was accused of copyright and trade dress violations, setting the stage for a lengthy legal struggle. For more, click to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAW_(rolling_papers)

The Heart of the Matter

Republic alleged copyright and trade dress violation started the issue. Republic debuted OCB Organic Hemp in the U.S. in 2014, which RAW said resembled its brand, prompting legal action. RAW sued Republic for not negotiating, resulting in charges and counterclaims. Republic declared RAW’s papers and cones unlawful because of their drug and celebrity links. An examination of this argument revealed its weakness.

State and federal accusations of deceptive advertising, misleading trade practices, unfair competition, and copyright were included in the case. RAW said Republic’s 2014 U.S. introduction of OCB Organic Hemp was too similar to their Organic Hemp. A complicated sequence of charges and counterclaims followed RAW’s legal action when Republic declined to speak. Republic claimed RAW’s papers and cones were illegal since they were linked with cannabis and celebrities, but this prosecution failed. State and federal misleading advertising, deceptive trade practices, and unfair competition violations were examined.

Jury’s 2021 Verdict

A jury decided the case after a multi-week trial in 2021. Republic intentionally violated RAW Organic Hemp’s trade dress and “Sold Here” sign, the jury determined. RAW got over $1 million in damages. Interest on the judgment increased the payment to approximately $1.5 million.

Illinois Deceptive Trade Practices Act and unfair competition verdicts favored Republic. Republic lost on federal Lanham Act accusations. This intricate verdict showed both parties’ complex legal arguments and the case’s complexity.

Resolution and Aftermath

The court upheld the jury’s judgment of Republic’s willful copyright and trade dress violation in June 2023. The court refused Republic’s unusual request to disgorge RAW’s revenues due to insufficient evidence.

RAW’s Response and Future Plans

RAW founder Josh Kesselman was relieved and happy following the court win. He called Republic’s 30-year litigation history an aggressive business strategy to sue competitors. RAW’s corporate responsibility officer, Kesselman, said the case’s net earnings would be given to cannabis-related small businesses, notably those run by nonviolent cannabis offenders.


The RAW Rolling Papers Lawsuit happens to be very special one so far judicial process is concerned. The length of the legal battle and the complexities offer the insights show the sheer brilliance of the law. For the future disputes of similar kinds, this case happens to be special. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here