As global interest for the show increased so did the demand for theÂ jumperÂ as worn byÂ actress Sofie GrÃ¥bÃ¸l.Â However as with other success stories various people have sought to cash in on the show’s success and copies of the jumper began to spring up.
So much so that to prevent other designers cashing inÂ the Faroese designers of the original sweater, Gudrun & Gudrun, took legal action against Danish company Stof og Sy, which had made a cheaper copy.Â It was argued thatÂ they hadÂ violated copyright law.Â However, apparently, a court has declined to support the designer of the jumper. It hasÂ according to reports,Â ruled that Stof og Sy can continue selling similar jumpers. Lene Langballe of Stof og Sy, claimed that theÂ fabric, pattern and sewing is hundreds of years old and that theirÂ version did not violate any copyright laws.
As often is the case the alleged copy sold for Â£40 the orignal Â£240!
Two main courses of action would have been available in the UK. NamelyÂ unregistered design right (UDR) and/a claim forÂ infringement of artistic copyright. However the best course of action for a design like this would have been under theÂ European unregistered design right as referred toÂ under Article 3(a) of Council Regulation 6/2002 on Community designs.Â
This Article defines a designÂ “the appearance of the whole or a part of a product resulting from the features of, in particular, the lines, contours, colours, shape, texture and/or materials of the product itself and/or its ornamentation” (Art. 3).
The jumperÂ would be capable of protection ifÂ
ÂÂ it isÂ novel, ieÂ there is no identical design which has been made available to the public
ÂÂ it hasÂ individual character, ie thatÂ the “informed user” would find it different from other designs which are available to the public.
So you can see that if the design had been made available for hundreds of years then its impossible to protect. So sorry Sarah – get back to doing what you best and solve crime!Â