At Bird & Bird we’re passionate about design. DesignWrites will unravel and explore the seemingly complex world of design protection, offering practical advice by looking at recent design cases, hearing from industry experts and sharing stories from the wider design community.

If you would like advice on how best to protect your designs or take action to stop copycats, please contact Ewan Grist for a complimentary consultation.

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UK: Calculating damages for design infringement

The case of Kohler Mira Limited v Bristan Group Limited1 related to the infringement of two Community registered designs and a number of UK unregistered design rights (“UDRs”) for electric shower units. In January 2014 the court found that three models sold by Bristan infringed certain of the UDRs owned by Kohler and so Kohler was entitled to damages in respect of this infringement.
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Fashion designers welcome CJEU ruling on unregistered Community designs

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has followed the Opinion of Advocate General Wathelet, delivered in April 2014, answering questions referred to it by the Irish Supreme Court in Karen Millen’s favour. The questions concerned how the individual character of a design which is claimed to be entitled to be protected as an unregistered Community design is to be assessed.
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Supreme Court confirms the partial nullity of a Registered Community Design for a lollipop container

On 30 April 2014, the Supreme Court confirmed a judgment by the Court of Appeal of Alicante, declaring the partial invalidity of a Registered Community Design (RCD) for a lollipop container. The dispute was started by the Italian company Perfetti Van Melle, S.p.A., owner of the RCD no. 000721543-0001, a lollipop container comprising the following four views.
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Surface decoration, line drawings and CADs in Community design registrations – a review

One of the issues which has arisen repeatedly in English design cases in recent years, but still remains unsettled, is how the presence of colour(s), shading, patterns and even logos (i.e. surface decoration) on either the design registration or indeed the allegedly infringing design itself should be treated when assessing infringement and how such surface decoration should be represented in design registrations.
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Incubation program for Hungarian designer start-ups

Design Terminal, a Hungarian state agency responsible for the stimulation of the creative industries, is playing a refreshing and diverse role by committing itself to changing the perception of design, fashion and architecture as businesses among the young and talented, and has started an open Consultation as well as a scholarship-based Mentoring Program.
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Review of Registered Designs Regime in Singapore

As part of the IP Hub Master Plan adopted by the Singapore Government in April 2013, which sets out a 10-year master plan for Singapore to become the global IP hub in Asia, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) is reviewing its registered design regime and has recently (from 16 May 2014 to 6 June 2014) conducted a public consultation on possible changes.
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The role of aesthetic elements in slavish imitations

On 3 February 2014, the Court of Appeal of Milan, overturning the first instance decision, found that Bratz dolls had been slavishly imitated by the “PopStyle” dolls, reproducing the same aesthetic features that were found on the original toys, including the unusual aggressive facial expression.
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The new Intellectual Property Court of Finland

A new centralised intellectual property (IP) court (the “Market Court”) was established in Finland in September 2013, which could prove to be a useful forum for design cases. Following the reform, the Market Court now has exclusive jurisdiction to hear all IP cases at the first instance with the exception that IP cases which involve criminal proceedings will remain within the remit of the District Courts.
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Important changes to UK design law

A number of changes to design law in the UK will come into force on 1 October 2014. These changes are being introduced by the Intellectual Property Act 2014 and are largely intended to implement a number of the recommendations arising from the wide ranging Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property which took place in 2011. We outline some of the key changes.
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Working with ACID - A passion for design

The Bird & Bird IP team in London are delighted to have been appointed as a Legal Affiliate of ACID (Anti Copying in Design), a further sign of our commitment to supporting the design industry. ACID is a trade association created in 1996 for designers and manufacturers, with a core aim of upholding the value of original design. ACID actively encourages design talent and seeks to develop a safer trade environment for designers in the UK.
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Design Museum: what’s on

The Design Museum’s new exhibition celebrates the work of Louis Kahn – the great American architect who is hugely respected within the architectural community but little known outside of it.
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Upcoming industry events and awards

Bird & Bird and the Printable World
18 September 2014
Bird & Bird offices, London, UK

Join us for an evening of discussion on the important IP and IT legal issues raised by the revolution of 3D printing. Take a peek at 3D printing in action and see the potential of the 3D platform through our exhibitors, who will be showcasing a variety of different products and designs throughout the evening.

More information and full event list>>