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5 lawsuits against big brands that got a lot of media attention

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There have been occasions when big brands have landed in big trouble due to allegations

New Delhi: Being a globally well-known brand helps companies rake in the moolah – thanks to their brand equity. However, big brands would be at the receiving end in the event of a public relations disaster or being involved in a high profile court dispute.
There have been occasions when big brands have landed in big trouble due to allegations against them and due to lawsuits filed against them.

IndiaRetailing looks at five attention-grabbing high-profiled court cases against big brands or sometimes involving two big labels:

  1. Apple vs. Nokia

Apple and Nokia have had a long history of legal allegations against each other. The first time they faced each other in court was in 2009, when Apple sued Nokia for allegedly copying its 13 different patents in its Nokia E71 device.

While Nokia countersued Apple for illicit use of Nokia’s patents and some patents from Nokia-owned companies like NSN and Alcatel-Lucent. These lawsuits were finally settled by mutual negotiation after eight years of legal wrangling. It is speculated that Apple paid Nokia $2 billion, as Nokia announced after the settlement that they had received $2 billion from Apple, which was a non-recurring payment.

  1. Dominos vs. Robles

In September 2016, Guillermo Robles, a visually challenged person, filed a lawsuit against Domino’s Pizza under the American Disability Act (ADA) that mandates all brands to treat every customer physically and mentally abled and disabled people equally. Robles alleged that the brand’s website is not accessible for people who use screen readers and he alleged that, it is violating the American Disability Act, 1990. On June 23, 2021, after five years of litigation, Domino’s was ordered to make its website’s user interface accessible for visually impaired people and was ordered to pay $4,000 in penalties to Robles.

  1. Red Bull vs. Benjamin Carethers

In 2013, a Red Bull consumer named Benjamin Carethers filed a lawsuit against the energy drink maker that would have made red bull more squeamish rather than bullish. Carethers sued the austria-based alleging that he failed to develop wings after drinking Red Bull (as the brand’s tagline suggests) for months. Carethers sued the company, arguing that he has been drinking Red Bull for a long time now and could not grow wings or saw any noticeable changes in his body, or physical capabilities. In the end, Red Bull settled the case by paying Carethrs $13 million.

  1. Louis Vuitton vs. Jocelyn Imbert

Louis Vuitton was sued by Jocelyn Imbert for a lock design. The lawsuit stated that in 1988, Jocelyn Imbert made a lock for Louis Vuitton called the “Louis Vuitton Tournant.” In 1992, Jocelyn Imbert and Louis Vuitton reportedly made a deal that every time LV used the lock design, she will receive a royalty of around $83,000. In 2014, Imbert noticed that her lock design was used in some LV products, but no royalty was provided to her, prompting her to drag the LVMH company to a French high court in 2014. After 7 years of hearings, Louis Vuitton was ordered to pay Imbert a compensation of almost $1 million.

  1. New Balance vs. Kimberly Carey, Victoria Molinarolo and Shannon Dilbeck

On August 20, 2012, the district court of Massachusetts, Boston, ordered New Balance to pay $2.3 million to settle an allegedly false advertisement case filed by three women, Kimberly Carey, Victoria Molinarolo, and Shannon Dilbeck. The claim was related to an advertisement published by New Balance, that claimed TrueBalance and Rock&Tone shoes from New Balance can tone Consumers’ buttocks and help them burn 8% more calories than normal sports shoes. “Wearing the toning shoes provides no additional activation to the gluteus, hamstring, or calf muscles and does not burn any additional calories,” the lawyers wrote in his argument “Moreover, scientists are concerned that wearing the Toning Shoes may lead to injury, a fact that New Balance deceptively omits from its advertising,” alleged the lawsuit. New Balance was asked by the court to pay the ladies $5,000 each and pay a $100 refund on every pair of shoes that any customer would have purchased.

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