Karlovarské minerální vody, the biggest producer of mineral and spring water in the Czech Republic, has lost a Constitutional Court case against dTest, a Czech monthly magazine which is the official organ of the Czech Association of Consumers, over a negative 2009 review of its Aquila Aqualinea spring water published as a result of the consumer test of bottled waters.

This dispute is known as the lawsuit of the black triangle (this symbol means “increased or high content of sodium”). Even though the Acquila Aqualinea spring water sodium content did not exceed the limit stipulated by the law, it prided itself on containing “only 0.002% of sodium” which evokes certain expectations in customers; however the content of sodium in this water was the second highest out of all tested products (three times higher than the average of the other bottled waters). As a result, dTest designated the Acquila Aqualinea spring water with the black triangle symbol in the magazine.

Karlovarské minerální vody argued that its good name had been damaged, but the Court ruled that the objective of such tests is to protect consumers, who are in a weaker position than producers, and that a higher degree of criticism is therefore allowable.

Full wording of the decision in Czech is available here.