Energizer Busts Parallel Importers

The Federal Court of Australia recently ordered the forfeiture and destruction of around 150,000 imported Energizer batteries seized by Australian Customs.

The importers, Contrade Pty Ltd, its director George Condos, and four other companies, were found to infringe the trademark registrations owned by Energizer Australia. The businesses had been operating under the belief that it was legal to purchase Eveready and Energizer branded batteries overseas and import them into Australia for resale.

One of the companies involved in the dispute has already gone into liquidation while the remainder were ordered to pay substantial damages and Court fees. The businesses were also ordered to turn over existing Eveready and Energizer stock to Energizer Australia Pty Ltd, and batteries seized by Australian Customs were ordered to be surrendered to the Commonwealth for destruction.

“The Federal Court’s orders should be a serious concern to all parallel importers and other suppliers of unauthorised Eveready and Energizer products,” said John Carroll of Callinans Patent and Trademark Attorneys, who manage Energizer Australia’s ongoing monitoring and compliance program.

“The actions of these companies not only jeopardises Energizer’s reputation as a supplier of quality and safe batteries in Australia, but also threatens consumer safety and faith in the brand,” he said.

More than 100 other Australian businesses are currently under scrutiny and more legal action is expected. John Carroll stated that there was evidence of the importation and sale of counterfeit Energizer products as well as other major brands.