Lawyer brands UKSC ruling on Trunki case ‘disastrous’

The UK Supreme Court’s decision to yesterday dismiss the appeal of a company which claimed a rival had infringed on its design of a ride-on suitcase for children will have “disastrous” implications, a senior lawyer has said.

Magmatic, manufacturer of the Trunki case, brought the case against PMS International Limited, manufacturer of the Kiddee case.

Magmatic initially won in the High Court, where Arnold J found its Registered Community Design (RCD) was infringed.

The decision was later overturned by the Court of Appeal in 2014, leading Magmatic to take the case to the Supreme Court.

After dismissing the appeal, the President of the Supreme Court, Lord Neuberger said no reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union needed to be made.

Georgie Collins, partner at Irwin Mitchell, said the outcome of the case will likely prompt other owners of RCDs that encompass computer-generated drawings to review their registrations.

Ms Collins said: “This case shines the spotlight on the on-going battle between market-leading products borne out of creative design and those who produce invariably cheaper competing products which are similar but not identical.

“Today’s ruling will have far-reaching consequences for the design industry and will be seen as disastrous for those who have sought to protect their designs with Community Design Registrations as the scope of protection is now called into question. It is a massive blow to Trunki.

“It is estimated that around 30% of designs are registered using CAD. This decision means that any owners of Community Design Registrations that encompass CAD designs should now review their registrations and not only consider whether the designs actually give adequate protection for the products they are selling, but whether they would be able to stop competing products that feature more detail than the designs for which they have secured registration.”

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