The owners of ‘Trunki’, the popular children’s ride-on cases, lost their case for the infringement of its registered design rights. For the last ten years or so the owners Magmatic has manufactured and sold ride-on suitcases for children under the trade mark ‘Trunki’ . Its shape was registered via a community registered design (CRD) from 2003. Along came Kiddee owned by PMS International Limited. Magmatic claimed their suitcases infringed its design and sued.
It all started so well and LJ Arnold found in favour of Magmatic. However this was overturned by the Supreme Court. Lord Neuberger recognised that the cheaper case was ‘very similar indeed’ to Trunki’s but nevertheless dismissed Magmatic’s appeal on the basis that the overall impression created was sufficiently different.
Magmatic was understandably devastated saying that they were ‘bewildered by this judgment, not just for ourselves but for the huge wave of uncertainty it brings to designers in Britain..the law is meant to be about certainty but this decision will create chaos and confusion among Britain’s design community.’
Its all about the overall impression. I have experienced both sides of the argument but its common for clients who see something they like at trade shows and send instructions to China to create something similar but to ensure the new design creates a different overall impression.
If you are going to file a Reg Design dont file CAD designs…….file line drawings and make sure you highlight those areas which you feel are unique.