Kingscourt, Ireland - Building solutions maker Kingspan has won a landmark ruling on comparative advertising in a London High Court battle against Rockwell Ltd.
Mr Justice Kitchin found that a series of Rockwool demonstrations and video recordings comparing the fire performance of Kingspan and Rockwool products were misleading, and failed to comply with the Misleading and Comparative Advertising Directive.
The judge ruled that Rockwool took unfair advantage of Kingspan's trademarks, causing damage to its reputation.
The case focused on Rockwool's advertising methods at a series of road shows in 2007 and 2008, which were intended to compare the fire properties of two Rockwool products against three Kingspan products. Wragge & Co., representing Kingspan, argued that the demonstrations showed the products as being fire hazards and unsafe for their purpose.
A spokesperson for Kingspan said the company was pleased with the High Court's findings.
He added, "The fire performance of construction products when incorporated into a building system is a very important consideration in the design of buildings. Kingspan's insulated panels and insulation boards achieve some of the most stringent UK regulatory fire performance requirements for life safety and property conservation when tested as in end use application."
The judge will decide as to any damages that Kingspan may be entitled to at a later date. LMH