Schneider Electric has electrified the legal arena by filing a lawsuit against IT distributor Ortus UK Ltd., accusing the company of trading products bearing the power supply provider’s registered trademark within the United Kingdom. The lawsuit, which came to light in an Oct. 9 High Court claim, alleges that Ortus UK Ltd. unlawfully introduced thousands of goods into the market without Schneider Electric’s authorization.
Shocking Allegations Unveiled
Schneider Electric IT Corp., a subsidiary of the renowned French multinational Schneider Electric SE, has taken Ortus UK Ltd. to task for what it claims is a violation of Schneider’s registered trademarks. The alleged infringement centers around Ortus UK Ltd.’s importation and distribution of uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) from sources outside the United Kingdom. UPS units are crucial for safeguarding equipment during power outages.
Schneider Electric Sues IT Co. : Unauthorized Territories
Schneider Electric mandates territorial boundaries for its distributors, outlining where they can legally market their products. However, the lawsuit contends that Ortus UK Ltd. supplied a staggering 4,170 products in the U.K. between May 2015 and September 2023, sourced from at least ten different countries. Among Ortus UK Ltd.’s offerings were products “bearing striking resemblance” to Schneider’s trademarks, causing substantial confusion regarding their origin.
Schneider Electric Sues IT Co. : A History of Trademark Tussles
This is not the first time Schneider Electric has initiated trademark litigation. In 2022, the company commenced trademark proceedings against multiple entities that had received UPS units from Ortus UK Ltd. The products were initially authorized for sale in regions including Peru, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, yet mysteriously found their way into the U.K., with one company reportedly holding £280,000 ($341,000) worth of infringing stock, Schneider Electric stated.
Shocking Speculation: A Shocking Trade Continues
Schneider Electric raised concerns that Ortus UK Ltd.’s alleged infringements might only be the tip of the iceberg. The company expressed doubts that these instances represent the sole unauthorized transactions involving UPS units. Schneider Electric firmly believes that the examples revealed in the lawsuit are indicative of a broader, ongoing issue.
Directors in the Electrical Storm: Joint Liability
Schneider Electric asserts that directors Darren Burrowes and Benjamin Downes of Ortus UK Ltd. share joint liability for the trademark infringement, as they “authorized and procured Ortus UK Ltd. to engage in such activities.” Since Burrowes and Downes were the sole directors until June 2021, the lawsuit suggests their direct involvement and awareness of the approval and sourcing of UPS units for the U.K. market.
Currents of Justice: What Schneider Electric Seeks
In a bid to rectify the situation, Schneider Electric is seeking an injunction to prevent Ortus UK Ltd. from trading their products. Additionally, they demand the delivery of the alleged infringing goods and full disclosure of the extent to which these goods have been supplied. The lawsuit also seeks damages and costs.
Silent Volt: No Immediate Response
Notably, counsel for Schneider Electric has remained tight-lipped, refraining from offering any immediate comments on the matter.
Schneider Electric Sues IT Co. : Ortus’ Radio Silence
On the other side of the aisle, representatives for Ortus UK Ltd. have declined to comment on the allegations.
Legal Luminaries on Both Sides
Schneider Electric is represented by Michael Hicks of Hogarth Chambers, with legal guidance from Mishcon de Reya LLP. Ortus UK Ltd. is being represented by Foot Anstey LLP, although counsel information for both Burrowes and Downes was not readily available.
The Electric Showdown in the High Court
This riveting legal battle unfolds as Schneider Electric IT Corp. takes on Ortus UK Ltd. and others in the Business and Property Courts within the High Court of Justice of England and Wales. The case, bearing the identifier IL-2023-000131, promises to be a high-voltage clash in the world of business and trademarks.