Le Creuset recently launched an urgent application in the Pretoria High Court against South Africa’s largest tomato producer, ZZ2, to stop a promotional campaign in which ZZ2 offered genuine Le Creuset casserole dishes as prizes. Dale Healy and Kareema Shaik report.
ZZ2’s promotion featured an image of a Le Creuset casserole pot, which was up for grabs, on the packaging of its tomatoes sold at major supermarkets across the country. Le Creuset demanded that ZZ2 immediately stop the campaign and when ZZ2 refused to do so on the advice of its attorneys Adams & Adams, Le Creuset responded, guns blazing, with an urgent application for an interdict.
Le Creuset argued that ZZ2’s campaign resulted in a dilution of its famous cookware brand in that it took unfair advantage of the brand or that the campaign was otherwise likely to tarnish the elite brand through its connection with fast-moving consumables. It also relied on the outdated notion that our common law recognises “leaning-on” as a distinct species of unlawful competition.
The court refused Le Creuset’s application and held that there was nothing unlawful about ZZ2’s campaign.
Dale Healy is a partner and Kareema Shaik an associate at Adams & Adams.
IMAGE: The iconic Le Creuset casserole dishes / Le Creuset
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