PLEASE NOTE: Information in this article is correct at the time of publication, please contact DFA Law for current advice on older articles.
When an insulation manufacturer created a road show to demonstrate its products in comparison with those of a competitor, there was always likely to be trouble.
The comparison consisted of a series of fire tests, which were intended to demonstrate the allegedly superior fire resistance of products manufactured by Rockwool compared with those of Kingspan.
Kingspan objected to the road shows, claiming that they misrepresented its products and that Rockwool had infringed its trade marks.
In court, it was ruled that the comparisons were not ‘real-life’ comparisons and could not provide a basis for evaluating the relative fire danger of the two products in a real-life situation. They were therefore unfair. Because the comparisons were unfair, the use of Kingspan’s trade marks in the comparisons was an infringement.
The ruling of the court regarding the damages payable is awaited.
Says Clare Towers, Partner at DFA Law, “Comparative advertising using another business’s trade marks can be a minefield. If you are contemplating an advertising or marketing campaign that incorporates the trade marks of another business, contact us for advice.”