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A number of lawsuits are filed every year asserting liability in connection with comparative advertisements. In one recently filed case, for example, H&R Block filed a complaint in Missouri federal court against Intuit, Inc., the provider of the do-it-yourself tax preparation software Turbo Tax®. The complaint includes allegations of unfair competition and trademark infringement arising out of Turbo Tax® television ads which allegedly include an unauthorized display of H&R Block’s trademark and false representations as to the quality of H&R Block’s tax preparation services. (Case No. 13-cv-00072). Specifically, the complaint alleges that the television ads suggest that Turbo Tax® is used and trusted by more than all other office tax preparation services combined, that H&R Block hires seasonal tax preparers with no experience and that such employees are not adequately trained or credentialed. Although these claims have not yet been decided, Intuit’s alleged comparative ads did not go unnoticed by H&R Block and have resulted in potential legal exposure.
George S. Pavlik
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