Copying of Design Proves Expensive

June 11, 2015

Copying of Design Proves Expensive

Copying the design of another company's product can prove expensive, as a manufacturer of ice cream vans found out to its cost recently.

Although it may be considered that ice cream vans are all similar to one another, a company which has been making them for many years took action to protect its design rights (both formally registered and not) when a rival – which had bought one of the company's vans and directly copied parts of it – offered a model to the market based on the company's design.

The High Court considered that the 'new' model was so similar to the other company's design that its design rights were infringed.

In addition, the direct copying of one of the side panels of the van was held to be an infringement of the claimant company's trade mark. The Court found the infringing company and also the individual owners of the company liable and ordered an 'inquiry as to damages or account of profits'.