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Design Protection

11 South Square offers extensive experience and expertise in all aspects of the legal protection of designs, registered and unregistered. Members of chambers have appeared in a number of important commercial design cases of recent times, helping to develop the law in a complex field covering by a number of overlapping UK and European rights.  Our experience covers the complete range of design fields, from handbags to vacuum cleaners.

 

Notable Cases

G-Star Raw CV v Rhodi Ltd & ors [2015] EWHC 216 (Ch)

G-Star Raw CV v Rhodi Ltd & ors [2015] EWHC 216 (Ch)

This was an action for infringement of unregistered UK design right.  The claimant was the well-known fashion brand, G-Star.  The defendants were responsible for the ‘Voi’ brand of jeans and casual clothing.  The case related to the claimant’s pioneering ‘Arc’ jean design.  The claimant said that certain design rights in that design had been infringed by 9 different Voi products.  All the Voi products were manufactured overseas.  There had been a prior set of proceedings between the parties in 2010, also relating to the ‘Arc’ jean.  Those had been compromised in a confidential settlement which included conditions relating to the subsequent conduct of the defendants.  In the present case, the defendants submitted that in light of those earlier proceedings, they would have been foolhardy to risk any further trespass on the claimant’s rights, a fortiori in respect of the ‘Arc’ design.

The judge held that all 9 of the Voi products were copied from and made substantially to all the ‘Arc’ designs asserted, and that, in light of the earlier proceedings, the defendants knew or had reason to believe that the Voi products were infringing articles.  The personal defendants were held not to be liable as joint tortfeasors.

Hugo Cuddigan acted for G-Star.

G-Star Raw CV v Rhodi Ltd & ors [2015] EWHC 216 (Ch)

 

 

Magmatic Ltd v PMS International Ltd [2014] EWCA Civ

Magmatic Ltd v PMS International Ltd [2014] EWCA Civ

The maker of the Trunki ride-on suitcase for children brought a claim against PMS for infringement of Community Registered Design, UK unregistered design right and copyright against the seller of the Kiddee Case, which is also a ride-on suitcase for children. In July 2013, Arnold J held that the claim succeeded in relation to the Community Registered Design, four of the six pleaded UK unregistered designs and the copyright in the safety notice on the Trunki packaging.  PMS appealed the finding of Community Registered Design infringement.

PMS’s appeal was allowed.  The Court of Appeal held that the judge had made two errors in interpreting the Community Registered Design in issue.  The judge also erred in failing to take into account the surface decoration on the designs alleged to infringe.  Having carried out its own comparison of the respective overall impressions created on the informed user, the Court found that the Kiddee Case does not infringe the Community Registered Design.

Mark Vanhegan QC and Chris Aikens appeared for PMS.

Magmatic Ltd v PMS International Ltd [2014] EWCA Civ

Apple v Samsung [2012] EWCA Civ 1339

Apple v Samsung [2012] EWCA Civ 1339

Appeal of non-infringement decision concerning the design of tablet computers and orders for publication of the judgment. Court of Appeal.

Apple v Samsung [2012] EWCA Civ 1339

Following this Appeal, there was a further dispute regarding the wording on Apple’s website and so another hearing in the Court of Appeal followed. The decision from this can be found here Apple v Samsung [2012] EWCA Civ 1430.

 

Dyson v Vax [2011] EWCA Civ 1206

Dyson v Vax [2011] EWCA Civ 1206

Registered design regarding vacuum cleaners. Patents Court and Court of Appeal.

Dyson v Vax [2011] EWCA Civ 1206

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