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Big brands are, of course, big business and those big brands tend to be incredibly proactive and often aggressive in protecting their rights. A perfect example of this has always been Volkswagen and the manner in which they protect their iconic campervan designs. Companies pay substantial sums of money to license the camper van design for all sorts of goods, as well as the actual vans themselves, and when licensees are paying substantial sums they, quite reasonably, expect that the rights they are licensing will be rigorously enforced or that they will be allowed to enforce those rights themselves. Volkswagen and its licensees have always enforced their rights vigorously and this has been demonstrated again by the seeking of an interim injunction against an infringer. An interim injunction is an order that stops the sale of allegedly infringing products pending a trial and a final determination on the merits of a claim. Interim injunctions are difficult and expensive to get and the seeking of such an injunction demonstrates how seriously these rights are protected. This particular case didn’t involve Volkswagen itself but concerned a company that designed bumpers for the Volkswagen campervan which it claimed were protected by an unregistered design right. They brought proceedings on the basis that the Defendants had copied the design of those bumpers. The Defendants admitted that they had sold a bumper to the Claimant’s design but said that they had introduced a new design that did not infringe upon the rights. The Court however ordered the interim injunction against both versions of the Defendant’s bumper though it rejected the wider wording proposed by the Claimants which would have included any similar bumper. The matter will now proceed to trial, unless it settles earlier, where the Court will rule on whether the injunction should be made permanent. If the Court does not decide this then the Claimants will likely have to compensate the Defendant for sales lost whilst this injunction is in force through the granting of the interim injunction makes it quite likely the matter will settle prior to trial. If this case has raised any questions for you please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniels Law on 0191 281 4000 or by email to legal@mcdanielslaw.com. in: Case Law, Companies, Consumer Law, Legal News, News

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