August 26, 2011
Scent Lok Notches Victory in Appellate Court
By Scott Bestul
Proving that it can certainly be re-activated in legal matters, ALS Enterprises—maker of Scent Lok clothing—is celebrating a decision issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals last week. That decision overturned a summary judgement ruling issued last year that found Scent Lok guilty of false advertising when it claimed its clothing “eliminated” human odor. We covered this issue in this space last year and in my “Whitetails” column titled “Something Stinks at Scent Lok” in the magazine.
The judge presiding over the appeal ruled that ALS’s use of the terms “odor eliminating” and “reactivation” was not literally false. According to a press release issued by ALS, the judge ruled that “the district court had erred in ‘basing its determination of literal falsity on the most absolute of competing dictionary definitions of the word eliminate.’” Interestingly, the appellate court also gave substantial weight to the fact that ALS “introduced evidence of substantial customer satisfaction with ALS’s Scent Lok ™ products.” The court also ordered the dismissal of all claims for injunctive relief, stating “Plaintiffs failed to prove both the requisite irreparable injury and their core allegations that Defendants’ use of the terms ‘odor eliminating and reactivation’ were literally false.’”
I spoke to Scent Lok vice-president Mike Andrews this week and he was, obviously, celebrating the Appellate Court decision. “We want to start spreading this good news,” he said. “We’re a quality-driven company with high customer satisfaction that has long stood behind our products. We want hunters who may have been on the fence and not bought our products [after the initial decision] to try them. We’re anxious to get our clothing out of the courts and into the woods, where it belongs.”