Originally published in Interiors & Sources

01/09/2012

Xylem Group Battles Corporate Giant ITT and its Xylem Inc. Spinoff for Trademark Infringement

ITT’s use of trademarked “XYLEM” name creates confusion in the plumbing industry market for Xylem Group

 
Xylem Group Battles Corporate Giant ITT and its Xylem Inc. Spinoff for Trademark Infringement

A sink from Xylem Group, LLC

ROSWELL, Ga.—Xylem Group, LLC, manufacturer of bath and plumbing products, is suing ITT and its Fluid Technology spinoff in federal court for using its trademarked XYLEM name.

According to the lawsuit, ITT’s new water technology spinoff, also named “XYLEM,” directly violates Xylem Group’s registered trademark, which has created confusion in the marketplace. Xylem Group has owned the registered trademark XYLEM and used that mark as its name in the plumbing industry since 2005. Xylem Group’s goal is to stop ITT’s infringement and the resulting confusion in the marketplace.

According to Hal Weinstein, founder and president of Xylem Group, “it is a David and Goliath situation where ITT is exerting its size and power over a much smaller business.” Weinstein is confident that, despite the company’s size relative to ITT, Xylem Group will prevail. In fact, the United States Trademark Office has turned down the request to register XYLEM as a trademark for the ITT spinoff, further supporting Xylem Group’s case.

“There is a lot of confusion in the marketplace, which is making it difficult for Xylem Group to get its message out,” says Weinstein, adding, “Who we are, what we are, and what we do is being undermined by ITT.” Xylem Group owns the Xylem trademark name for plumbing items including bath furniture, fittings, fixtures and valves.

Xylem Group is documenting the instances where actual market confusion has adversely affected its business and will aggressively move forward in the lawsuit until ITT agrees to cease and desist from using the trademarked name. Xylem Group, LLC is also pursuing a judgment for its damages incurred.

ITT, which contends that there is no industry crossover, is no stranger to the “finished goods” side of the plumbing industry, as it once owned Friedrich Grohe AG and states in numerous press releases and government filings that it intends to sell water flow devices such as pumps, valves and fittings under the Xylem name. Xylem Group confirms that the type of representatives that it contracts with also sell pumps, valves, pipes and fittings that compete with ITT in the plumbing industry. Xylem Group asserts that there is also considerable confusion in the trade press and supply chain, since both companies publish to the same publications.

 


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