Apr 12, 2021

Rothy’s Partial Victory - a lesson

The UK Intellectual Property Enterprise Court recently ruled that an Austrian shoe company, Giesswein (and its Pointy Flat shoe design), infringed a registered community design (Pointed Loafer shoe design) held by US-based fashion company, Rothy’s, but had not infringed its unregistered community design.

The key point is that the Court did not find infringement of Rothys’ unregistered Community design since it was established that the Pointy Flat had been created from independent design rather than copying the Pointed Loafer. However, the Court found infringement of the Registered Community Design. Registered design provides more extensive protection as it not only allows a monopoly over a design for a maximum of 25 years, but the burden to show that copying has taken place is discharged.

The case illustrates the benefit of having a design registered: it offers more protection and in certain circumstances can ensure that redress is available for an infringement when unregistered design right fails. Further, it is quite rare for the UK Intellectual Property Enterprise Court to address issues with regards to fashion items, particularly design novelty issues. It is probably the last case that the Court will hear with regards to community design infringement, given that the UK has left the EU.

If you would like advice with regards to intellectual property rights, please don't hesitate to contact the team on 0191 281 4000, or by email at legal@mcdanielslaw.com.

Posted by: Connor Cartledge in: Designs, EU/International

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