Battery manufacturer Ever Ready is to be the first brand owner to test the Institute of Grocery Distribution’s new disputes procedure for copycat products.
Ever Ready will pursue a case against Sainsbury’s, which it claims has copied the red and black blister card for Ever Ready’s Energizer brand in its own-label version.
The company says the Sainsbury’s product is a “real case of passing off”. But as Sainsbury’s is an important trade customer for Ever Ready, the company says it has “no wish to get into litigation with it”.
Ever Ready has approached the IGD, which last month announced a disputes procedure for companies who believe their brands are being copied by other manufacturers or by retailers (MW November 10).
Under the procedure, companies can call discussions at director level, under the auspices of the IGD. If no agreement is found, the matter is referred to the IGD’s Centre for Dispute Resolution.
Ever Ready’s sales and trade marketing director Mark Kerray is considering the company’s position, and is likely to pursue the case through the IGD’s disputes procedure.