09 March 2016
The Supreme Court has today announced their judgement in the landmark case of Magmatic (the makers of the Trunki ride-on case) and their rivals PMS (the distributers of the Kiddee Case).
Magmatic, based in Bristol, was founded by the designer of the Trunki suitcase. Magmatic allege that PMS International, based in Hong Kong, have infringed their European Community registered design rights with PMS’s Kiddee Case ride-on suitcases for children.
Magmatic took legal action against PMS in respect of the Kiddee Case, and won a High Court judgment against PMS in July 2013. In March 2014 however, that judgement was overturned by the Court of Appeal. In November 2015 the Supreme Court heard the case, and their judgement was released today.
The decision of the Supreme Court was unanimous in finding that the PMS Kiddee Case does not infringe Magmatic’s European Community registered design for the Trunki case. This confirms the findings of the Court of Appeal.
This marks the end of a long road for Magmatic in their pursuit of PMS for infringing the Trunki design. However, the effects of the Supreme Court’s judgement will have significant implications for businesses seeking to protect their designs. In particular, this decision reinforces the need to ensure that drawings used in a registered design do not include unnecessary limitations. In this particular case, the drawings – which are the sole basis on which infringement is determined – showed the Trunki case with distinct tonal contrasts, which were not present on the Kiddee Case. Hence, the Kiddee Case did not infringe the design.
Our more detailed analysis of the judgement will follow. The Supreme Court’s full judgement can be found here.
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