One of the most talked about new brands at the American Glass Expo (A.G.E.), held this past January in Las Vegas, was HIVE Ceramics and their gleaming white depictions of everyday dabbing tools typically made from quartz or titanium. Domeless ceramic nails in all sizes, glossy white ceramic “Flower Bowls”, dabbers, hash screens, and, of course, they figure you must have the “HIVE Medical Grade Ceramic Carb Cap w/ Dabber”.
For all the publicity that the new product cultivated, from the A.G.E. show in January to a targeted social media marketing campaign, nobody seemed to know where to get one, or anyone who had actually tried one. For every new fan of the brand, or “Like” on the Facebook page, there have been an equally growing number of skeptics who can’t help but wonder what has happened to all the hype.
A likely reason for the fizzled launch is that the current ownership of the trademarked name HIVE is under dispute, and is now heading to court in a case full of accusations ranging from breach of contract, to outright slander.
Wael “Wally” Sakallah is a pipe maker in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He too has a ceramic pipe, of sorts, already being sold under the name “Hive”, though his product does not enjoy a fraction of the pent-up popularity as the HIVE Ceramics products unveiled at A.G.E.
Sakallah was allegedly there at the event, in Vegas this past January, to meet with HIVE Ceramics to supposedly finalize an agreement that had been in the works since December of 2013. HIVE Ceramics is owned by a publically traded company called Vape Holdings, and it was Vape who had negotiated a deal with Sakallah late last year in which they claim that Sakallah agreed to release the trademarks on the “Hive” name to Vape Holdings for the sum of $50,000.
Vape says that at the A.G.E. show in January, Sakallah told Vape’s president that he was already in the process of removing the Hive name from all of the work that came out of his Stone Arch Studios, and they say, he pressed the company for payment on their agreement.
Vape Holdings then proceeded to send Mr. Sakallah copies of all applicable paperwork from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, as well as a check for $50,000. Sakallah reportedly never cashed the check, never signed or returned the documents, and according to Vape, is attempting to back out of his agreement in hopes of renegotiating for a higher payoff.
That is their story, and they are taking it to court, accusing Mr. Sakallah of breaching their contract and then tarnishing the HIVE Ceramics brand in the marketplace by calling their name into question in public forums. Besides that, they probably have a shitload of ceramic sitting on the shelf right now, awaiting a conclusion to this dispute.
The 14-page complaint goes a little like this, “Plaintiff Vape is forced to bring this lawsuit because Stone Arch, and its principal, Sakallah, suffer from ‘seller’s remorse. This remorse comes after Sakallah later learned that Vape is a publicly traded company, and an up and coming leader in the legal cannabis industry, which plans to produce high-intensity, vaporization element systems (‘H.I.V.E.’), a ceramic vaporization piece. That is, Stone Arch and Sakallah seek to extort more money from Vape than the previously agreed on sales price based on their post-sale inquiries regarding Vape’s financial position.”
So, in return, Vape is asking the court to force Sakallah and Stone Arch Studios to cease all use of the trademarked name “Hive”, and to release it to them. Oh, and they want one million dollars for their time and reputation spent.
The matter rests now in the Federal Court system. In the meantime, the marketplace of innovation-hungry cannabis connoisseurs will have to settle for what’s been working just fine.