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Court Refuses To Put Lid On Diaper Pail Advertising

Posted  April 19, 2011

The United States District Court for the Central District of California has denied Playtex’s motion for a preliminary injunction to enjoin rival diaper-pail producer, Munchkin, from advertising claims of a superior diaper pail.

Munchkin is seeking a declaratory judgment in Munchkin, Inc. v. Playtex Products that Munchkin (1) is being truthful in claiming that its Diaper Pail is “The NEW #1 in Odor Control.  Proven Better at Odor Control than Diaper Genie II & Diaper Genie II Elite[, Playtex products,] in a laboratory test”; (2) has not engaged in unfair competition; and (3) has not engaged in deceptive trade practices.  Munchkin also alleges claims of false advertising and unfair competition against Playtex.  Playtex is asserting similar counterclaims.

In its motion for a preliminary injunction, Playtex argued that Munchkin’s superiority claim – and the associated fine print – is literally false as its tests (1) do not support the claim of superiority; and (2) are not reliable.  The court disagreed, finding that Playtex failed to carry the necessary burden of demonstrating literal falsity, thereby failing to establish the likelihood of success on the merits required for a preliminary injunction.