Tuesday 27 September 2016

Dunnes Stores appeals High Court finding it engaged in misleading commercial practices in ad campaign comparing prices to Aldi

Published 10/07/2015 | 16:21

It is claimed an injunction will affect any future advertising campaign the supermarket chain chooses to run. 
It is claimed an injunction will affect any future advertising campaign the supermarket chain chooses to run. 

DUNNES Stores is appealing a High Court finding it engaged in misleading commercial practices in an advertising campaign comparing prices of certain products with those of rival Aldi.

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Mr Justice Brian Cregan, who last month found against Dunnes in the case brought by Aldi, is also considering what orders he should make in the light of his decision.

It will include an injunction preventing Dunnes from further infringing Aldi's trademark in light of the High Court's decision.

Dunnes say no order should be made at this stage in relation to the injunction in view of their pending appeal.

It is claimed an injunction will affect any future advertising campaign the supermarket chain chooses to run. 

It claims the injunction being sought by Aldi would have "a chilling effect" because should another campaign be found to be unlawful.  The directors of Dunnes could face proceedings for attachment and committal to prison or sequestration of company assets if found in breach, it is claimed.

Aldi opposes deferring the injunction order and says it was a prohibitory order preventing a repetition of conduct which the court had found to be unlawful.   It also wants its additional claim for damages, as a result of the finding of a breach of its trademark, to be heard before the Court of Appeal case.

The hearing continues next week.

In his judgment last month, Mr Justice Cregan said Dunnes had infringed consumer protection law and EU regulations in its advertising campaign.

Aldi had claimed that in in 2013 Dunnes infringed its trademarks through the use of in-store shelf labelling and through the use of free-standing shop floor advertising "banners" claiming Dunnes' prices were cheaper.

Dunnes argued the advertisements were lawful.

Mr Justice Cregan found that in relation to pricing labels on Dunnes' shelves on 14 out of 15 products, the company had infringed EU regulations and Irish law.

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