Video projector manufacturer Epson America is still on the war path against competitors who make what it alleges are inaccurate or misleading peak brightness claims in product advertising.

The latest legal skirmish surfaced this week when Epson filed a complaint in the United District Court, Central District of Calif., Southern Division, charging “misrepresentation in the promotion of the Vava 4K Ultra Short Throw Laser TV as a 2,500 or 6,000 lumens product across varying online and in-store retail venues. In addition to creating confusion in the marketplace, according to third-party testing, both claims are wholly inaccurate, with projectors testing well under 2,500 lumens,” Epson said in its press statement.

Epson sent an announcement of its action to HD Guru late Wednesday, and we reached out directly to Vava through its web site support line as well as its outside press representative Thursday for comment on the matter. We received no response as this went to post Friday afternoon. HD Guru will update this report when/if we hear more.

The action was the next in a series of legal actions that have been taken by Epson against projector competitors for allegedly misrepresenting the peak brightness levels of products in advertising claims “that did not comply with industry standards.”

Epson said it makes such actions as a benefit to consumers who might otherwise be unaware of accepted industry brightness standards of performance.

The latest action alleges that Vava falsely promoted lumens specifications for the Vava 4K Ultra Short Throw Laser TV, and “comes on the heels of a pandemic-fueled spike in home theater projection adoption across U.S. households as movie theaters across the country closed permanently and people engaged in new at-home viewing technology for streaming, gaming, working, and schooling,” according to Epson’s statement.

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“Vava’s false lumens claims are misleading to consumers and this misrepresentation of performance creates confusion among people looking at viable home entertainment solutions,” stated Mike Isgrig, Epson America consumer sales and marketing VP. “Ultimately, the industry suffers as a whole when companies misrepresent key performance claims and customers purchase products that don’t meet their viewing expectations.”

Specifically, Epson America urged consumers to beware of “misleading metrics listed as `Lux,’ ‘LED lumens’ or ‘Lamp Brightness’ that fail to provide useful information about on-screen light output performance.”

Epson, which has long advocated for its own 3LCD measurement standard for separate peak white and peak color brightness levels measured in foot-lamberts for home video projectors, stressed that shoppers should consult only measurements “defined by internationally recognized standards groups, including the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Committee for Display Metrology (ICDM).”

“The ICDM publishes the Information Display Measurement Standards (IDMS) where the methodology for measuring projector color brightness and white brightness separately are fully defined. The ISO standard which defines projector measurement methodology is 21118:2020. When these standards are followed, there is zero ambiguity regarding how projectors are to be properly measured and compared,” Epson’s statement reads.

We point out for full disclosure that many brands — even some market share leading video display companies — have for years used questionable and potentially misleading claims about maximum contrast ratio performance (with some advertised numbers exceeding perceivable levels of vision) when no standard was enforced or recognized.

Epson reminded that it has brought similar actions against companies including: Philips, Screeneo Innovation, Vankyo, WiMiUS, GooDee, Bomaker, RCA (Curtis International trademark licensee) and ONN (Walmart). Some of those cases resulted in settlements, Epson said.

“In addition, in 2018 Epson obtained a permanent injunction and damage award for $5 million as a result of its successful litigation against iRulu for falsely advertising lumens ratings,” according to the Epson statement.

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By Greg Tarr

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