High Court rules Aldi entitled to injunction against Dunnes
21 July 2015 | 0
Aldi is entitled to an injunction stopping Dunnes Stores from infringing its trademarks in the future, Mr Justice Brian Cregan ruled in the High Court today.
Although the exact wording of the injunction has not yet been decided, Aldi has welcomed the ruling.
In a statement, the discounter said it “is pleased with today’s High Court decision to grant an injunction which further strengthens consumer protection”.
Following the court’s decision, Dunnes Stores will be prohibited from engaging in unlawful misleading comparative advertising against Aldi.
In today’s judgment the court held “members of the public and consumers at Dunnes Stores have been misled by the advertisements in which Dunnes Stores purported to compare their products with those of Aldi in a misleading manner.” Mr Justice Cregan said it is in the public interest to ensure customers are not misled in this fashion in the future.
The Irish Times reports the judge also found Dunnes had displayed a “cavalier” attitude to Aldi’s complaints, including ignoring its correspondence that complained about the advertisements.
He said this attitude “does not inspire me with any confidence that Dunnes Stores would take sufficient care to ensure that this would not happen again”.
Dunnes appealing previous ruling
In June, Dunnes Stores was found guilty in the High Court of engaging in misleading commercial practices when comparing its own-brand prices with Aldi products, an action which the court said was likely to deceive customers.
However Dunnes is appealing this ruling and has argued that no injunction should be granted until the outcome of its appeal is known. However the judge said an injunction was appropriate and noted Dunnes had failed to show any special reasons for not granting an injunction under the Community Trade Mark Regulation 2009.
While Dunnes’ experts accepted that some of the products featured in its marketing were not comparable, the retailer has nevertheless maintained a “robust defence” that its advertisements did not infringe the Comparative Advertising Regulations, the judge said.
Judge Cregan also ruled a hearing to assess damages for Aldi from Dunnes as a result of the infringement, which will take place if Dunnes’ appeal is unsuccessful. Although the preparations for this hearing should continue in the meantime, he said, a trial date will not be scheduled until the outcome of the appeal is known.