SALT LAKE CITY — CirTran Corp., which distributes Playboy Energy drinks, announced today that the company has created a website — PlayboyEnergyDrinx.com — to show off its line of products.
What's so remarkable about the site creation is that CirTran and its Play Beverages LLC unit are still in litigation with Playboy Enterprises over licensing rights to manufacture the product line using the adult entertainment brand's signature bunny ears and name.
In January, CirTran earned another courtroom victory — the seventh time in as many rulings since December 2012 — over Playboy Enterprises, which contends that the company has failed to make a multimillion-dollar payment required to make the license agreement effective.
“Play Beverages LLC continues to hold the exclusive world-wide license rights to manufacture and sell the Playboy Energy Drink product line,” Iehab J. Hawatmeh, CEO of CirTran, said Monday.
“While we acknowledge that Playboy disputes this claim, the courts have not agreed with Playboy. In fact, every court that has considered this issue to date ... has ruled in favor of Play Beverages and against Playboy."
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week, CirTran said that the Playboy Energy Drink comprises 96 percent of its sales.
In the six months ended June 30, CirTran counted $750,000 in sales for the bunny rabbit-branded products, down from $1.9 million in sales from year-ago figures.
Founded in 1993, CirTran Corp. has evolved from its roots in electronics to focus on manufacturing and marketing Playboy Energy Drink worldwide.
In 2007, CirTran created its CirTran Beverage subsidiary, which partnered with Play Beverages LLC, to introduce and distribute Playboy Energy Drink a year later. CirTran also continues to maintain the capabilities of its previous core business in off-shore manufacturing of high-volume electronics, fitness equipment and household products for the multibillion-dollar direct response industry.
CirTran, remarking on the Playboy litigation in the SEC filing, said that it is ""working to overcome uncertainty in the marketplace over the outcome" of the Playboy legal battles. It also noted that bankruptcy protection wouldn't be ruled out.
"The company is continuing its suit against Playboy Enterprises, Inc. ... in Illinois in an effort to enjoin Playboy’s termination of the license so the company will be able to continue its beverage distribution segment," the SEC filing said. "If the Playboy licensing dispute is not resolved satisfactorily through a negotiated settlement or litigation in such proceeding, PlayBev would be required to terminate its beverage distribution activities, which are currently the principal source of the company’s revenues.
"Such termination may require the company to cease its activities and seek protection from creditors."
PlayboyEnergyDrinx.com features information on special events, drink recipes and a photo gallery of Playboy Energy Drink Girls worldwide.