Nualtra accuses UK rival of “malicious” court campaign to undermine business

Nualtra alleges Aymes International is only suing it for an alleged trademark infringement as part of a “malicious determination to undermine” the Irish company’s business.

 Leslie Buckley is a backer of the   Limerick health supplements company along with Sean Corkery.   Photograph: Alan Betson

Leslie Buckley is a backer of the Limerick health supplements company along with Sean Corkery. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

Nualtra, a Limerick health supplements company backed by businessmen Leslie Buckley and Sean Corkery, is amending its counterclaim against a UK rival to include an allegation of “malicious” abuse of the civil legal system.

Nualtra alleges UK company and industry rival Aymes International, founded by businessman Roger Wertheim Aymes, is only suing it for an alleged trademark infringement as part of a “malicious determination to undermine” the Irish company’s business.

Aymes has already admitted to sending an anonymous letter to Nualtra’s UK clients and a forged email purporting to be from the National Health Service (NHS), which were aimed at damaging Nualtra’s business.

Nualtra, which is the defendant in the trademark case in the High Court, is now seeking a raft of documents covering events such as the planning of the sending of the email and letter and a subsequent apology, as part of a discovery motion opposed by Aymes.

Bernard Dunleavy, senior counsel for Nualtra, told the High Court on Tuesday the trademark case taken by Aymes over its Nutriplete brand of supplements - Nualtra sells Nutriplen - was a “mechanism” to undermine its rival.

He said Aymes had embarked on a “road marked by milestones of dishonesty”. Aymes, via its solicitors, previously strenuously denied sending the email and letter, until confronted with incontrovertible evidence by Nualtra. Sympathised

Mr Dunleavy said he sympathised with the solicitors for Aymes who had issued the denials, as they were only acting under their client’s instruction.

He accused Aymes of “breathtaking duplicity” during the case, by first offering to volunteer information to help uncover who might have sent the email and letter, before later admitting it or its employees had in fact sent both of them.

Mr Dunleavy said an apology letter from Aymes’s solicitors in which their client finally owned up to sending both the letter and email was a “bombshell”.

“I have never seen a letter like it in all my time at the bar,” he said.

He also suggested to the court that a senior member of Aymes had destroyed the computer used to send the fake NHSemail.

Mr Dunleavy alleged differences in the positions taken by Aymes in the Irish court action, compared with its position in simultaneous UK defamation proceedings over the NHS email, showed Aymes’ alleged wrongdoing was “ongoing”.

“The dishonesty is not stopped. It has got worse,” he said.

Nualtra denies the allegation of trademark infringement while Aymes has denied the counterclaim of interference in Nualtra’s business.