Addleshaw Goddard

UK 200 2013 position: 23

Design rights for child’s ride-on suitcase infringement

The High Court has ruled that the PMS International ‘Kiddee Case’ suitcase infringed Magmatic’s Community-registered design for its ‘Trunki’ child’s ride-on suitcase (CRD).

The High Court had to decide whether the disclosure of a concept design at a public award ceremony some years earlier fell within the ‘obscure disclosures’ exception to novelty in Article 7(1) of the Community Designs Regulation (CDR). A Community design (whether registered or unregistered) must be both ‘new’ and have ‘individual character’. For these purposes, Article 7(1) states that a design shall be deemed to have been made available to the public if it has been published following registration or otherwise disclosed before the date of filing of the application for the registered Community design, except if these events could not have been reasonably known in the normal course of business to those specialised in the sector concerned and operating within the EU.

The key question was whether the CRD was invalidated by the disclosure at a public award ceremony of a design for ride-on suitcase called ‘Rodeo’. PMS argued that if the CRD covered its ‘Kiddee Case’ then it also covered the ‘Rodeo’ design, so invalidating the CRD, which in that case was neither novel nor had individual character at the time of registration…

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