A Delaware court ruled Thursday that an Axa SA entity must defend a patent infringement company and false advertising lawsuit filed by a competing company that said it was the target of a smear campaign.
Axa unit Indian Harbor Insurance Co. had issued two commercial liability insurances to Needham, Massachusetts-based SharkNinja Operating LLC, which covered personal and advertising liability, according to Thursday's letter from Delaware Superior Court in Wilmington, Delaware RE: Indian Harbor Insurance Co. v. SharkNinja Operating LLC, et al.
SharkNinja competitor Bedford, Massachusetts-based iRobot Corp. brought an action against SharkNinja in a federal court in Massachusetts, accusing it of a smear campaign aimed at targeting iRobot. and mislead consumers "about legitimacy and fairness" iRobot's pricing compared to their own, according to the opinion.
Indian Harbor refused to defend SharkNinja on the grounds that the false advertising language did not meet the coverage definition of personal injury and advertising damage, as iRobot had not alleged a "downgrade" of iRobot's products.
"In good measure," the insurer then filed a lawsuit in Delaware seeking a declaration that it has no obligation to defend SharkNinja, the statement said.
"Indian Harbor's obligation to defend addresses the threshold issue of the allegations behind the iRobot action spells a potentially covered" personal and advertising damage "under the policy," the statement said.
"The underlying complaint need only show, through public accusations, a possibility that the liability falls within the insurance cover, "the statement said, referring to a previous case. Any uncertainty is resolved in favor of the insured, it said.
standard had been met. "Undoubtedly, SharkNinja's advertising has singled out iRobot for a lot of negative publicity," the statement said.
"But has SharkNinja potentially" downgraded "iRobot by law? In order to determine this coverage issue, a Massachusetts court would probably say, "it said.
Under Massachusetts law," (d) ice parah means, among other things, lowering rank and appreciation with deeds or words or talking about, said the statement in an earlier decision.
"Here, iRobot's allegations are" reasonably plausible to an interpretation "that SharkNinja & # 39 ;s attacks on iRobot products were intended to" lower (them) in rank and rating & # 39; or, in their context, would be considered to be & # 39; talking & # 39; little & # 39; about & # 39; iRobot and its products & # 39 ;, said the opinion and conclusion that Indian Harbor was required to defend SharkNinja in the underlying dispute, and that two political exceptions were not applicable.