STUTTGART, Germany—The Higher Regional Court Stuttgart passed a consumer-friendly judgment with far-reaching consequences for any advertising using the GOTS logo and/or name.
The appeal decision passed on a legal case where a textile printer purchased blank GOTS certified T-shirts and printed on them. However, the printer was not GOTS certified. According to the GOTS standard requirements, each processing step needs the approval to exclude toxic or carcinogenic substances, among other criteria. The printer advertised the printed T-shirt as a GOTS-certified end product, so the Global Standard non-profit GmbH, the standard setter of GOTS, took legal action.
A press release from the organization states that the judges in the case said the GOTS Trademark is regarded as a quality mark, which means consumers rely on the compliance of all requirements of the standard.
"Printing on a textile would bear the risk that this product would no longer comply with the requirements of GOTS. The reputation of GOTS could thus be weakened or otherwise damaged by further (non-certified) processing which would constitute an infringing activity. General explanations about GOTS on the defendant's website did not change this since the consumer would be given the wrong impression that the products were certified, the judges ruled," the release adds.
Claudia Kersten, GOTS managing director, says, "This judgment is groundbreaking. The judges acknowledge the quality promise of a GOTS product to be certified throughout the entire supply chain. This protects the consumers and also the companies that act correctly by getting certified."
For more information on GOTS, visit www.global-standard.org.