Nivea Rexona won in a dispute about the smell of “Black & White”

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Nivea won a five-year legal battle in New Zealand against his rival Rexona. Now the German manufacturer of deodorants legally owns the trademark “Black & White”, according to the report Stuff.

Company Beiersdorf, which owns Nivea, is now the only company in the country that can legitimately use the label “Black & White” for their products. Before that, starting in 2014, lasted about a litigation between two leading manufacturers of personal care products due to the fact that Beiersdorf has applied for trademark, and Unilever, the parent company of Rexona and Dove, was categorically against such a decisive move by its competitor.

Despite the fact that the intellectual property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) initially allowed Unilever to use for their products this label due to the fact that the term “Black & White”, according to experts IPONZ, is the hallmark of the goods, representatives of Beiersdorf appealed by referring the matter to the High court of Auckland.

After going to court, both sides reached a secret agreement, the details of which were not disclosed. Based on the provisions of the agreement, a High court judge Ann Hinton described further appeal as “clumsy” due to the fact that Unilever was unable to provide any further evidence and in fact was not able to challenge the lawsuit. Ruling that due to the lack of evidence that Unilever used the words “Black & White” for sale of its products in New Zealand, the brand was transferred to Beiersdorf.

In a conversation with Stuff counsel on intellectual property Sebastien Aymeric said: “We don’t know what are the conditions for settlement of the dispute, so it is difficult to determine what steps will be taken by Unilever. In his decision the judge said that she was in awkward position, and it is possible that the company agreed to a duopoly in the name, and Unilever may not be required to recall its products, which are produced, starting in 2014 with the inscription “Black & White”. We can’t be sure. In addition, Unilever also has not taken any significant steps in order to emerge victorious in the consideration of this case in the High court”.

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