Shasta currently sells a blood glucose meter called the GenStrip, and the company included an image of Lifescan’s OneTouch UltraMini glucose meter in packaging and advertising materials to indicate to consumers that the products are meant to be used together.
Lifescan complained that many customers have griped about the confusing, multi-step process in the GenStrip glucose testing and the company’s lawyers argued that the negative press is hurting the company’s brand.
Lifescan won a September 2011 trademark infringement suit against Shasta in a case with a similar foundation. Northern California U.S. District Court Judge Jon Tigar heard both arguments on May 16 and is expected to issue a ruling soon.
Defense attorney Robert Andris argued that the picture is a helpful and perhaps necessary element, according to reporting by Law360.
"Diabetes is an equal-opportunity disease, and a whole lot of people who buy these test strips do not speak English, or might not read. If they look at a picture, it communicates something," he said.
Andris added that 60,000 boxes of GenStrips are sitting on the loading docks, waiting to be distributed because vendors are wary of the outcome of the lawsuit.
On the flip side, Lifescan argued that problems with GenStrip, and use of the company’s logo, will tarnish Lifescan’s reputation for ease of use.
"Consumers are more likely to think these problems reflect badly on Lifescan, and it will undermine Lifescan’s current reputation for ease of use and accuracy," said Lifescan attorney Catherine Williams. "Their use of Lifescan’s trade dress and trademarks mislead consumers into thinking we endorse the product."