Written by Puff Staff

Monday, 02 April 2007

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Illinois Cigar Event Needs New Name PEORIA, IL—March 26, 2007—In a classic David vs. Goliath conflict, a small Midwestern gathering of cigar lovers is changing the name of its event because of a threatened trademark infringement lawsuit by Cigars International, the self-proclaimed “#1 cigar retailer.” Lucas Woith, producer of cigar events in central Illinois since October, 2004 , said he was contacted via e-mail by Cigars International and ordered to change the title of their upcoming event he had dubbed Midwest Cigar Fest. He has launched a national campaign on his website to come up with suggestions from cigar smokers for the new name. Cigars International holds a trademark on the term “CIGARFEST” and it believes, unrealistically, there could be confusion over sponsorship and presentation of the two events. Woith previously produced an event in Havana, IL known as the Havana Cigar Fest & Beach Bash, which received considerable national publicity last year for its “Top 10 Reasons to Smoke Cigars” contest and for the rich cigar-making history of Havana, which is about 40 miles south of Peoria, IL. Cigars International sponsors a CIGARFEST event at a resort in Pennsylvania in May. Woith’s Midwest cigar event is planned for Sept. 8 just outside Peoria. “My understanding is that there needs to be the likelihood that someone will confuse the events for there to be a trademark infringement,” Woith said. “We believe strongly that there is no chance the events will be confused. “Admission to their event is $90 and for that you receive a humidor with 20 cigars and the chance to get 20 more cigars from manufacturers. Their event features that top 20 cigar makers, free food and beverages, music and several other parties and functions. It’s at a top-flight resort in Pennsylvania. “Admission to our event is $5. It’s held outdoors in a park. We’ll have five or six retail cigar shops selling cigars, food and beverages available for purchase, a small art show, music, and maybe some cars and motorcycles on display. The differences are certainly much more significant than the similarities.” The cost of defending the name against the threatened lawsuit is prohibitive, Woith said. “While we believe we have a strong case, we’re doing these events as more of a hobby than a business. We don’t have the deep pockets of a national cigar retailer to defend ourselves against a suit. It’s ironic, though, that our interest is in providing cigar smokers a pleasant, friendly atmosphere to share their passion for cigars at a time when smoking bans are all the rage in the country, and we’re being threatened with a lawsuit by a major retailer of cigars.” To come up with a unique name for the event, Woith has launched a national contest looking for suggestions to fill out the Midwest Cigar ????? name. In just the first two days of the contest more than 50 entries were submitted. Entries are open until May 1, when a new name will be selected. Meanwhile, the event will be known as the Midwest Cigar ?????. Information on the event can be viewed at and suggestions for a new name can be emailed to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Regards, Lucas C. Woith Executive Producer Midwest Cigar ????? September 8, 2007 Hickory Grove Park Peoria, Illinois (309) 472-4535 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it -------------------------------------- HELP US COME UP WITH A NEW NAME FOR OUR FESTIVAL! Email your suggestions to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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