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Clorox & Brita Accused Of Monopoly On Home Water-Filtration Systems

 |  October 12, 2022

Clorox used its involvement in national standard-setting organizations to develop and file an early patent application and create a monopoly for its Brita water filter, a rival startup alleges in a new lawsuit.

Water filtration startup Zero Technologies filed the anti-competition lawsuit against Brita and The Clorox Oct. 6 in a Pennsylvania federal court, alleging violations of federal antitrust laws. 

According to the lawsuit, Clorox — which makes the Brita water filter — used its involvement in the industry’s standard-setting organizations to secretly plan and execute a “patent ambush” for water filters, using information gathered through the standards bodies.

The lawsuit alleges that the Brita patent licensing conspiracy dates back to 2007.

It was then that the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF International) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) issued guidelines for what kind of health standards would be required for water filter makers to receive certifications, the lawsuit says. 

Brita allegedly participated in the guidelines process and then used that knowledge to “develop a patent essential to the standard and lay its plan for a patent ‘ambush’ of the industry after over a decade of ongoing deception,” the lawsuit claims.

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