On July 25, 2008, Mineral Resources International, Inc. (MRI) issued a letter to Trace Minerals Research, L.C. (TMR) calling on TMR to cease and desist from trademark infringement and false advertising concerning MRI’s elete Electrolyte Add-In™ (elete) brand name. MRI believes that in the course of advertising TMR’s product known as “Endure,” TMR and its distributors have caused confusion in the marketplace by linking the elete name to TMR’s product “Endure,” and by engaging in other false advertising practices. MRI is calling for remedial action from TMR in the form of corrective advertising and, if appropriate, a product recall.
Letters were also issued to eight Internet-based retail distributors of TMR’s “Endure” product. MRI believes such distributors have used product advertising script, product listings or metatags, which directly referenced elete in conjunction with advertisements of TMR ’s “Endure” product.
Recent independent lab tests solicited by MRI of two separate manufacturing lots or batches of TMR’s “Endure” product revealed a significant disparity in the amount of potassium—a key electrolyte—claimed on the label of TMR ’s “Endure” product, versus the actual concentration present in the product tested. Based on such testing, MRI believes TMR ’s “Endure” product may be mislabeled.
At one time, TMR—as MRI’s distributor for all of MRI’s products in the U.S. health-food store market—also distributed elete, which was manufactured by MRI, but was marketed by TMR under the ‘Trace Minerals Research’ brand name and label in the U.S. health food stores. As such, TMR was licensed to use MRI’s proprietary formulas and other intellectual property concerning elete, including carefully researched dosing recommendations, label claims, product benefit claims, and marketing materials.
In 2006, MRI terminated TMR’s license to distribute the Great Salt Lake mineral and trace mineral products manufactured by MRI using the original proprietary product formulas invented by the Anderson family—including TMR’s license to distribute elete. When MRI terminated TMR’s license to distribute elete in 2006, TMR responded by introducing its own electrolyte product—under the trade name ‘Endure,’ which used a ‘Supplement Facts’ panel on its label identical to the one used by MRI on its elete label.
MRI continued to manufacture its quality line of products from minerals harvested from the Great Salt Lake, using the same, original time-tested proprietary formulas and processes invented and crafted by the Anderson family, including an all-natural solar-evaporation process. However, after 2006, all of TMR’s products—including TMR ’s ‘Endure’ product—were manufactured by someone other than MRI, using different raw materials (minerals) and different formulas and processes than those used by MRI to create MRI’s products.
The difference in manufacturers, raw materials, manufacturing processes and formulas between MRI’s products and TMR’s products may account for the lab tests we conducted, revealing that at least two manufacturing lots or batches of TMR ’s ‘Endure’ product contain approximately 80 to 90 percent less potassium than is claimed on the product label.
We maintain that TMR has wrongfully benefited from the goodwill connected with MRI’s elete, by using or allowing the use of the trade name, sales script, and other proprietary and intellectual property of MRI associated with elete in connection with the marketing of TMR’s imitation ‘Endure’ product without authorization from and to the detriment of MRI.”
MRI encourages any retailer or consumer who may have questions, who desires further information about MRI’s elete, or who would like a copy of the independent lab analysis conducted on TMR ’s product “Endure” to contact MRI at 1-800-731-7866.
About Mineral Resources International:
Founded through a parent company formed in 1969 by the Anderson family, Mineral Resources International, Inc. (MRI) (www.mineralresourcesint.com) specializes in developing, manufacturing, and distributing noteworthy nutritional supplements in liquid, tablet, and powder delivery forms, integrating naturally occurring minerals and trace minerals harvested from Utah’s Great Salt Lake. Through its close relationship with Northshore Limited Partnership, its exclusive supplier and the only government-inspected, food-grade, solar evaporation mineral harvester on the Great Salt Lake, MRI goes to great lengths to ensure an all-natural, GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) mineral and trace mineral product while maintaining consistent standardization, concentration, and balance in each lot. MRI manufactures a complete line of innovative dietary supplements ranging from multi-vitamins to targeted nutritional formulas using all-natural ionic minerals. In addition, MRI provides a complete portfolio of natural ionic mineral ingredients for use in supplements, functional beverages and foods. MRI’s products are sold worldwide through a variety of distribution channels including natural products and specialty retail stores, salons and estheticians, and natural health care practitioners.