Kärcher-Tennant final judgement - Tennant withdraws appeal

23rd of September 2013
Kärcher-Tennant final judgement - Tennant withdraws appeal

So-called 'activated water' is no more effective than tap water. Tennant's advertising claims regarding the cleaning power of an all-purpose cleaner that is water 'activated' using its ec-H2O technology, are deemed to be anti-competitive.

This decision by the Stuttgart Regional Court in Germany is now legally binding and Tennant has withdrawn its appeal - two years after legal action was commenced by rival cleaning machine manufacturer Kärcher.

"The evidence was overwhelming. We were always confident that the facts would prevail in the end. With the withdrawal of the appeal the court's decision is now legally effective: ec-H2O cleans no better than tap water," says Markus Asch, deputy chairman of the management board of Kärcher. "The court decision is a success that benefits all customers. Competitive cases such as this one create confidence and trust."

Tennant is now required to bear all the costs of the proceedings. Heidi Wilson, Tennant Company general counsel and secretary said: "Tennant Company has not altered its position that the decision of the German court is, respectfully, based on incomplete and inaccurate information.

“The withdrawal is for purely commercial reasons as the case was primarily about advertising claims that are no longer being used by Tennant,” Wilson continued.

“Tennant maintains that the two laboratory bench tests performed by the court-appointed advisor were seriously flawed. The first test had no applicability to Tennant’s ec-H2O chemical-free technology as the test is typically used to measure properties in traditional chemical cleaners. The second bench test, which involved a soil of concentrated fats, has little correlation to cleaning with any scrubber dryer, regardless of the cleaning solution being used,” explained Wilson.

“There is no standard for performance testing in our industry. Real-world operation remains the test that truly matters and our customers are the true judges of performance,” Wilson continued.

“Tennant customers who have chosen to effectively clean their facilities with reduced chemical usage are satisfied with the performance of ec-H2O. And for those who wish to see results for themselves, we invite them to a free demonstration of ec-H2O performance on their facility’s specific soils,” said Chris Killingstad, president and ceo of Tennant Company at the US headquarters.

Tennant Company introduced its proprietary ec-H2O technology in 2008, which is based on the process of electrolysis. As of the end of 2012 the company says it had more than 4,000 ec-H2O customers across the globe, 40,000 ec-H2O scrubbers in the marketplace and 329 million euros cumulative ec-H2O sales.


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