|The H2O Mop X5 (not actual size)|
Both sides in this dispute were TV marketers of household products. Thane's leading product was a five-function steam mop, the clumsily-named H2O Mop X5. Thane had actually sold two million of these steam mops worldwide, incidentally mopping up 80% of the market for steam mops sold by TV. Pitch World then launched its own five-function product, the Vapour Mop X500 which, Thane objected, was similar to its own in several respects. Thane sued, alleging infringement of its registered Community designs and trade marks and, to be on the safe side, passing off. Four weeks later, the parties were in court, Thane seeking interim relief and Pitch World saying it shouldn't be granted.
|The Vapour Mop|
X500: unpopular in
So far as interim relief was concerned, the big issue was whether Thane or Pitch World would suffer irreparable harm if an interim injunction were granted or refused. In this case the losses that Thane said were unquantifiable were actually pretty well both quantifiable and remediable by means of a damages award. The killer blow for Thane's application was however the fact that Pitch World had obtained only a small quantity of Vapour Mop X500s in the first place and that they had undertaken to stop advertising and selling their device within three weeks of the hearing. Under the circumstances the best thing to do, rather than intervening and stopping sales sooner, was to let Pitch World draw its sales to an orderly conclusion.
haven't received rave reviews from customers -- deciding that there was some connection between the two, based on their similarity, which would encourage them to avoid Thane's mop too on the basis that the Vapour Mop X500 and the H2O Mop X5 were, er, tarred with the same brush ... Merpel says, she's keeping out of the kitchen. If Hello Kitty is licensing floor mops, she wants no part of it.
Who mops the floor now? How domestic service shaped 20th century Britain here
How mopping spreads germs here
Source: a handy note on the Lawtel subscription-only service