RB told to stop selling Durex RealFeel in condom row with Ansell Ltd

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 3 Mar 2017

RB is facing a huge law suit from a rival over its Durex RealFeel condoms.

Ansell (UK) Ltd claims it owns the patent to the condom design and has taken RB, formerly known as Reckitt Benckiser, to court.

Ansell has accused RB of patent infringement over the Hull firm's distribution of the Durex RealFeel condom. The lawsuit was filed in the High Court in London.

If the injunction is successful, it will stop RB from:

  • Importing the Durex Realfeel product into the UK
  • Selling, supplying or otherwise disposing of the Durex RealFeel product in the UK
  • Offering to sell, supply, or otherwise dispose of the Durex RealFeel product in the UK

Ansell, represented by law firm Kempner and Partners, is also seeking a damages payout, including lost profits, legal costs and interest.

However, RB is adamant that Durex RealFeel does not infringe any Ansell patents and intends to "defend against Ansell's claims".

RealFeel condoms are designed with a "natural skin on skin feeling" so they are easier to put on and wear. They are branded with the tag line: "The next generation condoms".

The patent relates specifically to "dip-formed Synthetic Polyisoprene Latex Articles with Improved Intraparticle and Interparticle Crosslinks", the intellectual property of which Ansell says it owns.

Bill Reilly, senior vice president and corporate general counsel at Ansell, said: "Ansell is a global leader in the development and commercialisation of condoms and surgical gloves, utilizing patented polyisoprene technology.

"The Company has made significant R&D investments in this technology and related patents and this lawsuit seeks to protect these investments."

A spokesman for RB said: "We are aware of the patent infringement lawsuit filed by Ansell Healthcare against Reckitt Benckiser in the UK. The case refers to Durex RealFeel polyisoprene condoms only.

"We are very confident that Durex RealFeel condoms do not infringe any valid Ansell patents and we will defend against Ansell's claims."

It is the third time Ansell has taken legal action against RB in the past three years. The first was in November 2014, with a decision expected later this year. The second lawsuit was filed in October 2015. The specifics of either case have not been disclosed.

Currently, the only Durex-branded product advertised on RB's website is the Durex Invisible Thin condom, the brand's thinnest condom which is designed to maximise sensitivity while still providing protection.

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