Liberty wins Vitality tug-of-war with Discovery

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The High Court has dismissed a case from insurer Discovery against rival Liberty, who it had argued was infringing on its trademarks and competing unlawfully. According to a Moneyweb report, Discovery launched its case last year over Liberty’s use of data from its Vitality programme, which offers users discounts on premiums and other rewards for good behaviour, such as buying healthy food and exercising.

Liberty has developed its own wellness programme that rewards customers for healthy behaviour, including by allowing them to contribute data from recognised external programmes, such as Vitality, to generate a score with Liberty. This then helps determine the price of the customer’s policy. Liberty said the court concluded that customers’ data from Vitality belongs to the customers.

“This judgment is a great victory for our customers as they can derive significant benefits from using their own wellness data,” Liberty executive David Jewell said. Hylton Kallner, CEO of Discovery SA, said while the result was disappointing, Discovery respects the decision and does not intend to appeal. “We hold Liberty in high regard as a competitor but felt and remain deeply of the view that using our IP without our consent or paying anything for its use and benefits, is morally questionable,” he said, adding Discovery has taken steps to protect Vitality’s intellectual property.

Full Moneyweb report

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