Intuit Inc. has sued H&R Block Inc. for copyright infringement, alleging that Block's television spots echoed Intuit's promotions for its market-leading TurboTax software.Intuit sought a court order to stop the H&R Block ads airing in Oregon and Florida.
"When our competitors inappropriately copy our ads, violating our intellectual property, we will fight to protect it," said Intuit vice president Brad Henske, in a statement. Henske is in charge of the company's consumer tax group.
In a statement, Block said that it was not surprised by the lawsuit. "We see this simply as a maneuver to try and halt the progress of a successful competitor," said Block senior vice president Tom Allanson, in a statement. A former Intuit exec, Allanson is general manager of Block's digital tax solutions.
Intuit accused Block of specifically copying its "No More Tax Stores" ad, saying that the Block ad copied the physical appearance, dress and mannerisms of the characters in the TurboTax ad, as well as the set, staging and pace of the advertisement. In addition, Intuit charged Block, which offers its own TaxCut software, with making misleading statements in the ad about services offered by both companies.
In the last legal spat between the two, in January, Intuit agreed to alter a $25 million campaign for its TurboTax software after H&R Block took the company to court, saying the advertisements were inaccurate.
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