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News Release
June 27, 2017
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Karen Tiano +49 6151 72-44461

Merck Wins False Advertising Lawsuit Against Distributor of RephiLe Bioscience Lab Water Products
  • Analis S.A. ordered to cease all illegal advertising following Merck lawsuit
  • Belgian distributor claimed RephiLe Bioscience’s lab water purification products were equivalent to Merck’s
  • Analis’ advertisements found misleading by Belgian court

Darmstadt, Germany, June 27, 2017 Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced that it has prevailed against Analis S.A. in a lawsuit ordering the Belgium-based laboratory equipment distributor to cease advertising that compares RephiLe Bioscience Ltd.’s lab water products with the lab water products of Merck. Analis distributes RephiLe’s products.

“We are very pleased with the outcome of this judgment, as it protects our customers’ interest and acknowledges the differentiated quality of Merck’s products,” said Udit Batra, Member of the Merck Executive Board and CEO, Life Science. “For half a century, Merck has been the partner of choice for water purification systems and services for laboratory scientists worldwide who require contaminant-free water.”

The Commercial Court of Liege (Belgium), division Namur, decided that neither Analis nor RephiLe could demonstrate that RephiLe products were equivalent to Merck’s Millipore branded products, as claimed by Analis in its advertising. The court therefore ordered Analis to stop making the following claims: that the quality of products manufactured by RephiLe Bioscience is equivalent to Merck’s products sold under the Merck Millipore brand; that analysis results of water produced by RephiLe Bioscience and Merck products are equivalent and that RephiLe Bioscience-manufactured products were priced 30 percent lower than Merck products.

The April 13, 2017 court decision stated that in the public health field, any product comparison must be confirmed by analysis based on “rigorous and strict good practice procedures.” The ruling found that Analis could not verify or support the equivalence statements that it made to its customers. Additionally, the court stated that Merck is only allowed to inform the user that Merck cannot guarantee the correct operation of its water purification system when equipped with purification cartridges from a third party company.

About Merck
Merck is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 50,000 employees work to further develop technologies that improve and enhance life – from biopharmaceutical therapies to treat cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting-edge systems for scientific research and production, to liquid crystals for smartphones and LCD televisions. In 2016, Merck generated sales of €15 billion in 66 countries.

Founded in 1668, Merck is the world's oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed corporate group. Merck holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the company operates as EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma and EMD Performance Materials.