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Judicial - Apple controversy leaves bitter taste for Germany’s VDL
17 September 2019

Nuuwai UG, a brand based near Hannover, has been misusing the term leather in its description of bags made from material that is 50% derived from waste from apples and 50% polyurethane. VDL said the company’s advertising was misleading and took the case to court. However, on September 10, the Hannover regional court dismissed VDL’s complaint.

In the oral hearing, the court said its preliminary view was that Nuuwai UG was using misleading terms, but it said there was no danger of deceiving consumers owing to the prominence of the term ‘vegan’ in the brand’s presentation of its products. VDL said it could not understand this reasoning and added that it does not believe consumers will understand it either.

“This ruling, which was handed down in haste, is a bitter setback for us and bad for the consumer,” VDL said. “It will, however, be an incentive for the leather industry to do even more to counteract the worrying labelling practice for materials that are not made of leather but that, nevertheless, lean on the positive properties of leather.”

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