Rotorua's Zorb has won a High Court case against a competitor which was found to have made false, misleading and malicious statements about Zorb in marketing material.
The judgment was made against United States-based company Outdoor Gravity Inc and its founder Chris Roberts who run, according to the website theogo.com, Ogo attractions in the US, England, Australia and Rotorua.
Ogo Rotorua's Andrew Akers told the Rotorua Daily Post he had little to do with the US-based company, or Mr Roberts, and said the High Court ruling was made against Outdoor Gravity Inc, not his company Outdoor Gravity NZ.
The Zorb and the Ogo are tourist attractions that use large plastic balls to roll people down hills.
In his High Court judgment, Justice Simon Moore found claims made on theogo.com, and in other printed marketing material about the history of the company, contained falsehoods about Zorb and those connected with it. He said these amounted to "malicious falsehood" and also breached the Fair Trading Act.
False claims regarding who invented Zorb and the resulting break-up of the company were also referred to by the judge.
"The evidence satisfies me that the statements made were false and demonstrably so.
"The statements were made with malicious intent. The defendants, through their previous connection with Zorb, knew or must have known that the so-called "history" was not that of Ogo's, but rather was Zorb's," Justice Moore stated.
The judge granted an injunction preventing Outdoor Gravity Inc and Mr Roberts from repeating the statements, including verbally. He also ordered the false statements be removed from the website.
Zorb director Craig Horrocks said the company did not ask the court for damages, but was awarded costs to cover legal fees.
He said he was still trying to make sure the decision would be enforced in the US.
Mr Horrocks said the issue had damaged Zorb's reputation as a company, and as a result, the tourism industry as a whole.
"We took on this case primarily because we had to make a stand.
"No one wins in these things, but we felt we had to correct the lies.
"We don't look at this as a win either, we felt it was important this sort of behaviour had to be stopped, or at least challenged," he said.
Outdoor Gravity Inc did not respond to the Rotorua Daily Post's request for comment.