Procter & Gamble has dealt rival Reckitt Benckiser a major blow after proving in court that Reckitt’s Air Wick Odour Stop is an exact copy of a pack design already used for P&G’s Febreze.
Reckitt Benckiser has been forced to stop producing Air Wick Odour Stop in Europe.
A P&G spokeswoman says: “The UK High Court decision has resulted in a positive outcome for P&G, which prohibits Reckitt Benckiser UK from manufacturing and commercialising the infringing Air Wick product across Europe.”
P&G has previously won injunctions against Reckitt Benckiser in Brussels, France and Italy after claims that the Air Wick product infringed its European Union registered design rights. Last week, in the High Court Patent Court in London, Mr Justice Lewison ruled in favour of P&G.
He found that, although there were some differences between the two designs, they were insignificant. As a result, the Air Wick design did indeed infringe them.
It is not known whether Reckitt Benckiser will appeal.
The dispute concerns a Febreze aerosol can that incorporates a trigger within the top, although it is not yet available in the UK.
The Febreze project began in 2002, and the pack design was created by UK design consultancy Jones Garrard.