Cosmetics case reaches testing time
The strange case involving allegedly fake MAC cosmetics products being sold in Target stores in Australia has hit a snag, with lawyers saying they cannot agree on the best way to test the products.
US cosmetics giant Estee Lauder launched legal action against Target Australia last year, claiming that the department store was selling counterfeit MAC cosmetics.
Target was forced to strip its shelves of the products, which are Australia's biggest-selling prestige cosmetics range.
Justice Annabelle Bennett in the Federal Court on Friday ordered that a "round table" meeting be held with experts from both sides of the dispute so they can explain to her why they cannot agree on the methodologies needed to test the products.
A point of contention is the size of the random sample used to test the products, and whether that sample will satisfactorily represent the entire range of products in question.
"There is no point in having a complex and very messy experimental protocol if it only resolves some of the issues with some of the products," Justice Bennett said.
"It's not worth everybody's time or the court's time in dealing with it unless the parties agree that the outcome of that will be determinative of the product content issues for all the products in question."
Earlier this month, it was revealed that the mysterious US company that supplied the products to Target in Australia had vanished, leaving behind questions about the source of its cheap branded make-up.
The US-based MAC Cosmetics was bought by Estee Lauder in 1998. Estee Lauder is trying to protect the official distributors of the cosmetics, as well as its brands.
The matter has been adjourned until June 18.