biOrb maker in bowl dispute

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Reef One, the company behind the biOrb aquarium, has reached an agreement with a company it says infringed its well established trademarks.

UK based Reef One, who design and manufacturer the biOrb and biUbe tanks, told Practical Fishkeeping that the distributor of the H2Orb aquarium, has a logo and packaging that infringe Reef One's trademarks.

The H2Orb, a 55cm spherical aquarium looks similar to the biOrb and Reef One says that the similar name was causing confusion among its customers.

Matt Stevenson, Reef One's director told us: "We have had calls from customers confused by the H2Orb, wondering why Reef One had abandoned the method of filtration which has been so key to the success of our other products. This is a measure of the extent to which this product has infringed our trademark."

The importer of the H2Orb now has to re-brand and re-package all of its stocks of the tanks. The distributor told Practical Fishkeeping that the product will be relaunched under the name UltraBowl and will be available in three sizes.

The products already on sale in the shops have not been withdrawn, but Stevenson says there is nothing to prevent Reef One taking legal action against retailers it believes are promoting the tanks so as to make them appear to be associated with the biOrb or Reef One. There is nothing to prevent Reef One taking legal action against retailers it believes are promoting the tanks as Reef One products...Stevenson said: "We have invested a great deal of time and money over the last five years to establish our brand identity so will vigorously pursue any attempts by others to ride on the back of our success by copying or using our designs, general style or trademarks.

"Over the last five years, Reef One has sold over a quarter of a million biOrbs many of which have been sold to customers not previously involved with fish-keeping. Bringing this many new participants to the hobby has benefited the trade as a whole so it is not in their best interests to undermine this effort."