Sunday 25 September 2016

Nualtra in legal tussle with British rival over 'damaging' letters and trademark issue

Published 14/02/2016 | 02:30

Founded by dietician Paul Gough in 2012, Nualtra makes oral nutritional supplements to treat disease-related malnutrition. Getty Images
Founded by dietician Paul Gough in 2012, Nualtra makes oral nutritional supplements to treat disease-related malnutrition. Getty Images

Irish nutritional supplement supplier Nualtra is embroiled in a legal row with a British rival.

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A dispute between Nualtra and Aymes International has reached the courts in both the UK and Ireland.

Founded by dietician Paul Gough in 2012, Nualtra makes oral nutritional supplements to treat disease-related malnutrition.

Backers include Actavo (formerly known as Siteserv) chief executive Sean Corkery and Leslie Buckley, who are both members of the company's board. Other board members include former Apple senior VP Dan Byrne and palliative care expert Prof Declan Walsh.

Mr Buckley is chairman of Independent News & Media, which publishes the Sunday Independent.

Nualtra alleges that Aymes unlawfully interfered with its business. The complaint centres on a claim that Aymes sent damaging information about Nual- tra to members of the UK medical profession. Like Nualtra, Aymes produces nutritional supplements.

Nualtra alleges that letters containing false and damaging claims about it, which can be linked to Aymes, were sent out to medical practitioners in the UK.

It is claimed the letters said Nualtra did not store patient data securely and that its products did not have insurance and were often out of stock.

Aymes and another company, Dutch business Nutrimedical, contend that Nual- tra infringed one of their trademarks. A community trademark for the brand Nutriplete was acquired by Aymes from Nutrimedical in 2015.

This is infringed by a Nualtra line called Nutriplen, they claim. There is a likelihood of confusion among members of the public between the brands Nutriplen and Nutriplete, they contend.

Requests for documents by both sides were heard by Judge Max Barrett in the High Court on Friday who reserved his decision.

Aymes and Nutrimedical were represented by barrister Paul Coughlan and law firm Mason Hayes & Curran, while Nualtra was represented by barrister Bernard Dunleavy and law firm LK Shields.

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