HOUSTON (CN) - Two companies are pushing bottled tap water with false claims that it's endorsed by the MD Anderson Cancer Center, the University of Texas says in Federal Court. The UT says HealtH20 Products and Evolvehealth sell the bogus water it as "Evolv," claiming it is infused with an "Archaea Active formula."
The Dallas-based companies falsely claim that the Anderson Center tested the water and endorsed it, the UT says. The MD Anderson Center is a leading cancer research institution.
"Specifically, defendants are misleading consumers and cancer patients into believing that UT's MD Anderson conducted extensive testing of the main formula in the Evolv product, known as 'Archaea Active," the UT says.
"Defendants' misuse of the MD Anderson marks creates, at a minimum, a likelihood that cancer patients and consumers will falsely believe that defendants' products is sponsored or endorsed by UT's MD Anderson, when in fact, MD Anderson does not endorse or recommend the use of the defendants' product."
In January this year HealthH20 contracted with MD Anderson to do limited in-vitro testing of the anti-inflammatory effect of their Archaea Active formula; no tests were conducted on humans, the UT regents say. "In particular, MD Anderson did not test whether the product was beneficial in the treatment or prevention of cancer," according to the complaint.
MD Anderson issued a report saying more testing would be needed to confirm the findings of their preliminary study of the formula, and stressed that any follow-up investigation should address the effect of City of Houston tap water, which has high levels of carbonates and minerals, and may also contain trace amounts of heavy metals and organic compounds, the complaint states.
HealthH20 and Evolvehealth took the study and ran with it, creating a pyramid scheme of recruits to push Evolv, and distributing promotional materials that said the product had "undergone rigorous testing with the University of Texas MD Anderson," according to the complaint.
The University of Texas wants an injunction, costs, and damages for trademark violations. It is represented by John Rawls with Bracewell and Giuliani.
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