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The Safe Cig is Back. Kind of. Sort of. Maybe.


Editor, eCigs HQ
Posted 3/5/13

The Safe Cig is Back. Kind of. Sort of. Maybe. photo 1.

March 7th, 2013

The following message was received today from The Safe Cig Founder, Rob Deak:

To the Vaping Community,

Safe Cig is not out of business but we are in the midst of an internal dispute between us, the Founders, and our CEO John Cameron. This has caused the site to go down and John C. has effectively stopped inventory from leaving the warehouse. We are working through legal channels to get our business up and running. The Safecig Inc. is nothing more than an empty company that hasn’t and doesn’t conduct any kind of business. It is not partnered with anyone. The Seminole Brand of Electronic Cigarettes is a 100% independent company from Safe Cig, but since we had manufactured their product, their flavors and technology are the same. We want to make sure our customers get the products they need even if we can’t supply right now.

The Safe Cig and Safe Cig are the same company. We owned both domains and before the site went down, anyone could type in either name in to find us.

Their is no current activity regarding any law suit by Dragonite. This is not even on our radar right now. We are trying to get our company back after an attempted hostile takeover by John Cameron. We loved our company, we loved selling electronic cigarettes and want to someday soon supply our customers with a good product again. It’s that simple. I am accepting both questions and interviews.

Thank you very much,
Robert Deak

March 6th, 2013

It would appear that Safecig has removed the YouTube video announcing their partnership with the Seminoles. Curiouser and curiouser.

Some customers complain that ordered products are not shipped as agreed, or, they receive nothing.”

The Safe Cig complaint information from the Better Business Bureau website

Plagued by out-of-business rumors based on a number of factors including: the disappearance of their website; a disconnected customer service number (866-997-2332), numerous customer complaints, pending lawsuits; and an “F” rating with the Better Business Bureau; on February 26th, The Safe Cig reemerged on YouTube to announce a partnership with the Florida Seminole Tribe. But is the company really “back in business” or simply using a partnership with a quasi-sovereign nation to evade the jurisdiction of U.S. courts and FDA regulation? The entire episode is so bizarre we hardly know where to begin. But we’ll try.

The headline beneath the YouTube video reads, “Safecig™ Announces Partnership with the Seminole Tribe of Florida 2013.” Note that the company is referred to as “Safecig” and not as it was formerly known, “The Safe Cig.” This is not a typo as “Safecig” is repeated throughout the video description that goes on to say that the company will be manufacturing e-cigarettes in the U.S. in 2013, and ends with the promise of “more details to follow shortly.”

Many report they are unable to contact the company to inquire on the status of their order or to request a refund.”

The Safe Cig complaint information from the Better Business Bureau website

While it seems odd to make such an announcement on YouTube rather than with a press release, the story gets stranger. The first half of the video is footage of peoples’ reactions to Seminole electronic smoking products at a trade show intermixed with various VIPs posing with the retro-uniformed Seminole E-cigarette Girls. The Safecig is not mentioned. The second half begins with a title card announcing that the partnership was formed in 2012, and not 2013 as indicated in the headline beneath video. The title card concludes with the bold claim that the “new entity” will easily be a decade ahead of the competition.

The sequence that follows features four men in discussion: Safecig Founders, Jon and Rob Deak; a tuxedo-clad third man whose face is intentionally blurred to obscure his identity (we kid you not); and “Original Electronic Cigarette Inventor, Herbert A. Gilbert,” Rob Deak states, “We’re very, very detail oriented as far as anything you can possibly think of down to the little tiny line underneath of our logo, the mechanics of the cigarette. We have world class engineers that are working for us. We’re just so passionate and we’re happy to be able to do this.” Mr. Gilbert adds, “Thank goodness the world has changed, and people like you are making it better, I’m proud to be a part of it”. We assume he is addressing the two Deaks and not the gentleman with the blurred face.

In some cases customers complain they are charged multiple times for the same items, or that batteries or other parts are defective.”

The Safe Cig complaint information from the Better Business Bureau website

U.S. and international courts have upheld electronic cigarette patents granted in 2003, 2004, and 2011 to Hon Lik (widely known as the inventor of the electronic cigarette) for Dragonite International Limited (successor in interest to Mr. Lik’s former employer, Ruyan Technology & Development Co., Ltd). However, Mr. Gilbert’s Patent for a “smokeless non-tobacco cigarette” was issued nearly 40 years prior in 1965. But why involve him with the Seminole/Safecig partnership?

We believe that Mr. Gilbert may act as a trump card for the new enterprise. Dragonite has filed suit for patent infringement against numerous e-cigarette brands including The Safe Cig, NJOY, Smoking Everywhere, Instead, Magic Puffer, Mistic, 21st Century Smoke, FIN, Blu Cigs, Logic, Nicotek Metro, Smoke Fifty-One, Krave, and Green Puffer. A number of these companies have defaulted, others have agreed to judgments against them, and some (notably Blu Cigs), have paid damages in out-of-court settlements. Many of the cases (including that against The Safe Cig) are still pending.

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If U.S. Courts find that Safecig is the successor in interest to The Safe Cig, it follows that Safecig will need to default, defend, or pay up. However, Safecig may claim that their design is based on Gilbert’s 1965 patent and therefore Dragonite’s suit is without merit. A counterclaim is certainly possible.

Additionally, Safecig may be able to avoid the execution of any judgments entered against them if they are able to obtain a favorable ruling finding them outside of US Civil Court jurisdiction based on their partnership with the quasi-sovereign Seminole Tribe.

We find irony in Safecig’s claim that it will be “the first company to manufacture electronic cigarettes on American soil starting in 2013,” while their attorneys may well attempt to place the company outside the U.S. for purposes of legal jurisdiction.

Of course none of the legal matters are addressed in the video which continues with more visitors to the Seminole booth sampling and commenting on Seminole electronic smoking products. Highlights include Tribe President, Tony Sanchez and then Chief Financial Officer, Michael Ulizio posing with mini-skirted Seminole e-cigarette girls. The guy with the blurred face had no such luck.

The video concludes with a title card featuring the new Safecig logo and the Seminole logo side by side. The copyright reads “© 2007 – 2003 Safecig Inc™ A Florida Based Corporation. All Rights Reserved.”

Finally, we apologize that we were unable to explain the guy with the blurred-out face. But, we’re working on it.


NOTE: Our preceding article on The Safe Cig saga, The Safe Cig Appears to be Out of Business, drew a number of comments. But none were so entertaining as one we believe was submitted by none other than Mr. Jon Deak.

“Safecig & The Seminole tribe of Florida just announced their new partnership, see the link below. I would update your blog or delete it before the Seminole Tribe of Florida slaps you with a cease and desist. There are thousands of people in the electronic cigarette forums who are praising safecig for doing what they did and partnering with a Government to manufacture Electronic Cigarettes on American Soil. Dont try to mess this up because the FDA cant touch a actual government.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tv_-LmvN7E8

We are all watching your actions in the forum and if this isnt changed we will notify The Seminole Tribe about your false article and we will also blast your site in the forums everywhere as un-credible and a scam site.

Be smart and do the right thing, for all of us.”


Safecig™ Announces Partnership With
The Seminole Tribe of Florida 2013

Note: Rob Deak, one the Safe Cig’s original founders, posted this diatribe on Tumblr earlier this week.


The Safe Cig Compatibility:

Based on our own informal testing, The Safe Cig batteries/cartridges are compatible with the following brands:

The Safe Cig Original

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The Safe Cig Micro

Thank you, George.

Performance may vary, and results are not guaranteed. We generally advise against mixing and matching brands.


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