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Thursday, 20 August 2015 08:45

Herman Miller files legal action against New York office furniture retailer over unauthorized trademark usage

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Zeeland-based Herman Miller Inc. has filed legal action against a New York-based retailer that it says made unauthorized use of company trademarks in selling used office furniture products. 

Herman Miller (NASDAQ: MLHR) alleges that Madison Seating LLC undertook “improper marketing and sales of Herman Miller products” as well as “unauthorized use of (the company’s) trademarks,” specifically for the company’s Aeron chair, according to a statement.

Specifically, the legal action stems from Madison Seating’s apparent failure to clearly indicate that the Herman Miller products for sale from its facility were used or pre-owned, according to a spokesperson for the West Michigan manufacturer.

Madison Seating is not an authorized retailer of Herman Miller products and therefore is unable to sell new products.

“Authorized Herman Miller dealers and retailers are required to be truthful and transparent in their advertising to avoid confusion among consumers,” said Kimberly Oliver, senior manager of communications and media global marketing at Herman Miller, in an email to MiBiz.

Herman Miller signed a consent agreement in 2005 with, Madison Seating’s predecessor, that prohibited the company from selling used Herman Miller products without identifying them as being used.

“Misleading business practices are a scourge of the industry,” Herman Miller CEO Brian Walker said in the statement. “They negatively impact the entire category by confusing and frustrating customers and consumers, and damaging the brands and reputations of companies like Herman Miller and others that are committed to creating and selling authentic, innovative, high-quality products that last for generations.”

Read 2445 times Last modified on Sunday, 30 August 2015 22:40

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