A U.S. District Court judge on Feb. 3 struck down a court
order forbidding the parent company of Trollbeads from taking over the bead
line’s North American distribution.
The judge’s order marks the latest twist in an increasingly
bitter fight in which both sides still claim to be the line’s “exclusive
distributor,” and Trollbeads’ parent company says it hired a private
investigator to rummage through its former partner’s trash.
On Jan. 27, Trollbeads’ parent company, Lise Aagaard
Copenhagen, notified the line’s retailers it was assuming
control of North American distribution. A few days later, on Jan. 29, Lund
Trading, Columbia, Md., the product’s North American distributor since 2004,
a restraining order against the takeover, arguing its contract with
Trollbeads doesn’t expire until 2014. This latest ruling voids that restraining
The order will let Aagaard “immediately assume direct
control of Trollbeads products in the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean
Islands,” a company statement said.
The statement notes a customer service and fulfillment
facility has been set up in Princeton, N.J., and has been fully staffed and
operational since Jan. 25. It plans to “increase consumer awareness of the
Trollbeads brand,” it says.
“It’s unfortunate that this transition has been confusing to
a number of our retail partners, many of whom have expressed their support and
encouragement regarding the change,” owner Lise Aagaard noted in a statement.
However, Lund CEO Morten Petersen tells JCK via email the legal battle will continue.
“The courts did not change the fact that Lund Trading is
still the exclusive distributor of Trollbeads,” he says. “It was determined that
a agreement exists and that only a mutual change to the agreement or a court
order can change the relationship. Lund Trading is aggressively pursuing this
matter in the courts and seeking to have this matter resolved as soon as
According to court papers, Trollbeads decided to terminate
the two parties’ contract because “Lund and its employees were surreptitiously
designing beads and otherwise supporting one of Aagaard’s competitors”—NOVO
Information supporting the claim was provided, the company says in a court filing, after Trollbeads hired a private investigator to “retrieve and examine trash discarded and abandoned by
“The investigator obtained the
trash samples from a dumpster located in a publicly available parking lot
outside of Lund’s office building,” the papers say. “The dumpsters were not
locked, were not fenced in, were located in parking spaces in the rear parking
area, and appear to have been used by all of the tenants of [the building.] …
[It] was the view of [the investigator] based upon his over 40 years of
investigatory work, that the course of trash surveillance was perfectly
permissible investigatory activity, and exactly the type of investigatory
activity engaged in by police organizations where he had worked during his law