Faucet Lawsuit Settled in Favor Of Kohler Co.

Faucet Lawsuit Settled in Favor Of Kohler Co.

Kohler, WI A U.S. Federal Court in Boston has upheld the contention of Kohler Co. that the design of its "Falling Water" wall-mounted lavatory faucet is "unique, distinctive and aesthetically appealing," and that the company has the right to sell the faucet in the competitive market, Kohler announced.

The Kohler, WI-based kitchen and bathroom product manufacturer said last month that the ruling resulted from a trademark infringement lawsuit filed against Kohler by I.P. Lund Trading ApS and Kroin Inc.

Lund, a Danish corporation, manufactures the "Vola" faucet, which is similar in function to Kohler's "Falling Water" product. The Cambridge, MA-based Kroin is the exclusive U.S. distributor of the Lund faucet.

According to Kohler, the case represented the first time in the company's 127-year history that it faced a trademark infringement lawsuit for allegedly copying a competitor's product design, 

The company said that, at the time the lawsuit was filed, the court had filed a preliminary injunction barring it from marketing the "Falling Water" faucet pending the outcome of the case. The company said it then appealed the ruling to a higher court, which ruled that the preliminary injunction had been improperly granted. While waiting for the court to lift the injunction, Kohler made modifications to the faucet, the company noted.

In granting Kohler's summary judgment motion, the court ruled that the design of the Vola faucet "was not so distinctive that it deserved trademark protection, and that Lund/Kroin did not present enough evidence to warrant a jury trial," Kohler said.