NSF International announced that it successfully enforced its certification mark rights against Duso Chemical Co, Inc., a Poughkeepsie, N.Y. company that distributes chemicals for use in municipal water treatment plants worldwide.
NSF International filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and successfully obtained both a Temporary Restraining Order and a Permanent Injunction. On June 4, 2007, the parties settled the lawsuit with Duso admitting it falsely represented some of its product as being NSF certified and that it otherwise willfully infringed the NSF Mark in the marketing and sales of its chemicals for drinking water treatment.
The suit involved Duso’s unauthorized use of the NSF Mark on containers of sodium hypochlorite and potassium permanganate, products used in the treatment of drinking water. Duso’s products have never been tested nor certified by NSF International, an independent not-for-profit organization that develops standards and certifies food, water and dietary supplement products.
“This is a critical settlement that positively impacts international commerce by protecting the integrity of the NSF Mark, which represents that a product has met established standards and independent certification requirements,” said Kevan P. Lawlor, president and CEO of NSF.
Duso management’s admission of liability and the permanent injunction protects against infringement of the NSF Mark. The NSF Mark can be found on more than 225,000 water, food and dietary supplement products in more than 100 countries.
“The unauthorized use of the NSF Mark was uncovered through the cooperative work of NSF auditors, health departments and water authorities in the state of New York,” said Ferguson. “These collective efforts serve to protect the public and reinforce the value of NSF Certification to all those manufacturers whose products carry the mark.”
In addition to admitting liability, Duso Chemical agreed to other key terms and conditions of the settlement. Some of these include:
- Payment of NSF’s legal fees, costs and other expenses;
- Accounting and notification of customers that have purchased or received Duso products with the unauthorized NSF Mark; and
- Complete indemnification of NSF by Duso.