Is ‘combination of features’ dead for unregistered Community design rights?

By Gary Assim

A seven-year battle between UK fashion company Karen Millen and Irish retail chain Dunnes Stores looks set to be nearing an end after the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled in favour of Karen Millen.

The judgment appears at first glance to be good news for designers who are seeking to limit the success of copycats. However, it will be interesting to see how the Irish court interprets whether a design has individual character or not.

In 2006, Karen Millen designed and sold a striped shirt and a black knit top in Ireland. Dunnes subsequently reproduced these items and placed them on sale in Ireland for a significantly lower price…

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