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Unlawful Copies of Dispensers − Sulzer Mixpac successfully defends its rights

December 02, 2020

Sulzer Mixpac Ltd (SULZER) is the global market leader in the design and production of manual, pneumatic and battery handheld sealant and adhesives applicators. In recent years nearly identical copies of such dispensers have been discovered on the market. These slavish imitations from other producers are not made under the strict quality control measures of SULZER und therefore are not protected by its guarantee. In the interest of its customers, SULZER will continue to take legal action against such unlawful copies.

Logo Mixpac Swiss Quality and Innovation in Application
Dispensers MK H14, MK H13 and MK H12
MKTM dispensers originally produced and supplied by Krøger A/S since 1922 continue into the future as part of the Sulzer Mixpac portfolio. The renowned MK dispensers are available through Sulzer Mixpac Ltd. and its affiliates while Sulzer Mixpac Ltd has entrusted Sulzer Mixpac (UK) Ltd with the manufacture of the dispensers. 

Krøger A/S was founded in 1922 and acquired by Sulzer Mixpac Ltd in 2013. The product range, which includes Manual, Battery and Pneumatic driven dispensers for any application (cartridges, sachets or bulk pack), was originally manufactured at our factory in Denmark. In 2017, manufacturing of the dispensers was relocated to Sulzer Mixpac (UK) Ltd of Hungerford, UK. 

There is a more than 15-year history of successfully stopping unlawful copies of MK dispensers in Germany and Scandinavian countries. The District Court (Landgericht) of Cologne decided already in 2006 that certain copies of the renown MK H14 dispenser by Kent Bridge Enterprise Co. of Taiwan (“Kent Bridge”) were unlawful and created an avoidable deception concerning the origin of these dispensers, and the court issued a preliminary injunction forbidding their further distribution by Kent Bridge. Likewise the distribution of unlawful copies of the MK H12, MK H13, and MK H14 was successfully stopped in numerous subsequent instances. 

Subsequently SULZER became aware of an international wholesaler and retailer of hardware such as fasteners and tools selling the original MK H14 in red as well as a variation thereof. SULZER uncovered that Kent Bridge supplied that variation of the MK H14 to the international wholesaler and retailer of hardware such as fasteners and tools and successfully enforced its rights under unfair competition law against this the nearly-identical MK H 14 (picture above) variation.
As well as two unlabeled copies of the MK H12 (P) and MK H13(P) (picture below).
   
Before the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf (OLG Düsseldorf) with its decision from 31.03.2016 (15 U51/14). Upon appeal to the German Federal Court (BGH) by Kent Bridge, the decision that the unlabeled MK H12 and MK H13(P) copies were unlawful was upheld, but a retrial was ordered before the OLG Düsseldorf due to some vagueness in the court’s reasoning.       

Kent Bridge attempted to argue in the subsequent OLG Düsseldorf proceedings that the dress rights in the MK H14 dispenser would allegedly be lost. However the Court ruled in June 2019 and upheld its original decision. It held again that our MK H14 trade dress is original (34 O 24/12). 

Kent Bridge attempted yet again to appeal this decision of the OLG Düsseldorf to the German Federal Court (BGH); however the BGH rejected this appeal on April 30, 2020 (I ZR 132/19), and it is now a final decision that Kent Bridge must cease and desist from selling their MK H14 variants in all colors in Germany.  

SULZER therefore strongly recommend to their customers to take notice and look for the unique MK trade dress of their dispensers (shown below for a MK H14 RS dispenser) with the MK trademark fixed on the dispenser so as to be assured that you are purchasing a high quality MK dispenser manufactured according to the strict quality control measures of SULZER und protected by its guarantee.  
 

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Nadja Rohrer

PR & Digital Marketing Manager

Phone: +41 81 414 70 40