Article on Shattering Pyrex Wasn’t Deceptive

     (CN) — A federal judge tossed claims by a maker of Pyrex cookware over a report in an industry newsletter that said its products shattered at much lower temperatures than a different glass type.
     For borosilicate glass, according to the article, thermal-shock fracture occurs at a “rapid temperature change” of 333 degrees Fahrenheit.
     The article put that value at just 99 degrees Fahrenheit for soda lime silicate glass.
     World Kitchen LLC challenged the report with a federal complaint in Chicago.
     Pursuant to a license from Corning, World Kitchen which has been producing heat-strengthened soda lime Pyrex glass cookware since 1998.
     The Delaware-based company took aim at the writers of the article, Richard Bradt and Richard Martens, and the group to which both men belong, the American Ceramic Society.
     ACS published the article its the September 2012 issue of its Bulletin publication. The bulletin’s editor, Peter Wray, was also named as a defendant.
     U.S. District Judge John Darrah held a three-day trial on the case and ruled for the defendants last week, seeing no violation of the Illinois Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
     “Even if the article implied that Pyrex glass cookware had a (thermal stress resistance) value of 99°F, nothing in the record establishes that this value is false,” Darrah wrote. “Plaintiff provides no other argument supporting its allegation that the speech at issue was misleading.”
     Darrah also emphasized that report is clearly not an advertisement.
     “Even if Plaintiff did establish that Defendants violated the DTPA, the evidence at trial established that the speech at issue is noncommercial speech and, thus, is not prohibited by the DTPA,” the 15-page opinion states.
     Both report authors are Alabama-based members of ACS.
     Bradt is a materials scientist and professor emeritus at the University of Alabama. He “has acted as a paid consultant on three occasions in lawsuits involving injuries allegedly caused by shattering glass cookware,” the ruling states.
     Martens works at the University of Alabama as well.
     Darrah noted as well that report did not include any specific mention of World Kitchen’s products.
     “While the Bulletin article referred to American-made, heat-strengthened soda lime glass cookware, it did not refer to a specific product, or a specific producer’s product,” the June 30 opinion states.

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