Lawsuit protects NSF certification mark against unauthorized use

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — NSF International has successfully enforced its certification mark rights against Parson Adhesives, a Rochester Hills, Mich. company that distributes adhesives for use in drinking water products worldwide. NSF International filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and successfully obtained a Permanent Injunction. On August 25, 2011, the parties settled the lawsuit. Parson Adhesives admitted it falsely represented some of its products as being NSF certified and that it willfully infringed the NSF mark in the marketing and sales of its adhesives for use in drinking water products.

At one time Parson Adhesives had products certified by NSF International to NSF/ANSI Standard 61: Drinking Water System Components-Health Effects, which addresses material safety for drinking water uses. All of these products (e.g. Sonlock 3638, 3243, 3271 and 3565 and Copper Seal) have since been dropped from NSF certification. Parson Adhesives continued to claim that these products were NSF certified even after repeated demands from NSF to cease and desist.

“This is a critical settlement positively impacting public health and international commerce by protecting citizens and the integrity of the NSF mark, which represents that a product has met established standards and independent certification requirements,” said NSF International President and CEO Kevan P. Lawlor. “Throughout the supply chain, regulators, water utilities and consumers look for the NSF mark to determine if a product manufacturer has met a stringent certification process that involves product testing, inspection of facilities and other public health safeguards.”

Parson Adhesives’ admission of liability and the Court’s issuance of a Permanent Injunction protects against infringement of the NSF mark. The NSF mark can be found on more than 360,000 water, food and dietary supplement and consumer products in more than 150 countries.

“The primary function of NSF’s drinking water certification programs is to protect the public water supply all the way from the source to the tap,” said Pierre Sbabo, Vice President, NSF International Water Programs. “As an independent product testing and certification organization, we have made it our responsibility to maintain strict surveillance programs to assure that only products that earn NSF certification are authorized to display the NSF mark.”

In addition to admitting liability, Parson Adhesives agreed to other key terms and conditions of the settlement. Some of these include:

  • Payment of NSF’s legal fees, costs and other expenses
  • Complete indemnification of NSF by Parson Adhesives

Additional information on NSF Certification Enforcement Actions can be found on NSF’s website.

About NSF International: NSF International is an independent organization that certifies products and writes standards for food, water and consumer goods to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment (nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting public health and safety worldwide. NSF is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment.

NSF International’s Water Treatment Programs require extensive product testing and unannounced audits of production facilities to verify that water treatment products meet the design, material, and performance requirements.

NSF developed the American national public health standards for all chemicals used to treat drinking water and materials/products coming into contact with drinking water. In 1988, the U.S. EPA replaced its own drinking water programs with these NSF standards, which are now the national standards for drinking water. NSF International is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

  • NSF/ANSI Standard 60: Drinking Water Treatment Chemicals is the nationally-recognized health effects standard for chemicals used to treat drinking water.
  • NSF/ANSI Standard 61: Drinking Water System Components is the nationally-recognized health effects standard for all devices, components and materials that come in contact with drinking water.

Additional NSF services include sustainability services, NSF Education and Training, safety audits for the food and water industries, organic certification, nutritional/dietary supplement certification and management systems registrations.

MEDIA CONTACT: Greta Houlahan
Phone: 734-913-5723
Email: houlahan@nsf.org