Numatic wins court case Numatic is pleased to announce that two years after the threat of a copy Henry – its distinctive family of vacuum cleaners that took the market by storm – it has won its lengthy Court battle with Qualtex, a maker of copy products. Judgement was given by Judge Christopher Floyd of the British Court on 28 May 2010. The judge said that Qualtex had threatened to ‘pass off’ Numatic’s long-established Henry-type products as and for its own, by producing and marketing a replica machine. The decision is significant, as the Court recognised that the shape alone of the famous Henry range of cleaners was distinctive and protectable, and a third party could mislead the public if it marketed a product of similar shape – even without the smiley face and branding. On 12th July the Court held that Numatic was also entitled to a declaration that, up until service of Qualtex’s defence in the legal proceedings, there was a continuing threat to pass off Numatic’s Henrytype products. The Court awarded Numatic 92,5% of its legal costs. Dewald Botha, general manager for Numatic South Africa, says, “The court recognised that the shape of the famous Henry range of cleaners was distinctive and protectable. If a third party marketed a similar product with a similar shape, it could mislead the public into thinking it was a Numatic product.” “The decision is significant for Numatic and we will continue to produce the highest quality products and protect the public
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from mediocre copies,” concludes Botha.
CARPET WHOLESALERS cc
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