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Case Details

Case Details
National ID link
Member State Ireland
Common Name link
Decision type Other
Decision date 09/06/2015
Court The High Court
Subject
Plaintiff Aldi Stores (Ireland) Limited and Aldi Gmbh & Co Kg
Defendant Dunnes Stores
Keywords advertiser, advertising, comparative advertising, competition, trade mark

Misleading and Comparative Advertising Directive, link Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, link

The use of comparative advertising on shelf edge labels and banners in respect of specific goods or products of a competitor amounted to an infringement where it is not carried out objectively.
The first plaintiff carries on business as a food discount chain in Ireland and the second plaintiff is its parent company. The defendant also operates a chain of supermarkets in Ireland.

The defendant allegedly engaged in unlawful comparative advertising in its stores. The plaintiffs claim that the defendant’s comparative advertising, which refers to fifteen of the first plaintiff’s products on shelf labels and banners, does not comply with the EU Directive on Misleading and Comparative Advertising (Directive 114/ 2006/ EC), the European Communities (Misleading and Comparative Advertising) Regulations 2007 (“the 2007 Regulations”) and the Consumer Protection Act 2007 (“The 2007 Act”).
Is a party engaging in unlawful comparative advertising and infringing competitor’s trademarks by comparing specific goods or products of competitor’s on shelf edge labels and banners in its stores?
In relation to the shelf- edge labels on fourteen out of the fifteen products, the banners, the comparative advertisements of Dunne’s Stores were found to infringe the 2007 Regulations. The defendant was also found to have infringed the plaintiffs’ trademarks.

The defendant’s comparative advertisements did not objectively compare “material, relevant, verifiable and representative features of those products” including price. The comparative advertisements did not compare products meeting the same needs or intended for the same purpose.
The Court requested further submissions from the parties about the nature and scope of any potential remedy and the form of the order.
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The defendant was found to have infringed the 2007 Regulations and the Consumer Protection Act 2007