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Trunki innovator loses design battle in Supreme Court

Written by Ellis Sweetenham on 09 March 2016

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Magmatic are the creators and sellers of the ever-popular Trunki suitcases, which allow a child to ride them. There are also distinctively decorated to look like animals as an incentive for children to stay safe and close with their parents.

They have recently lost a Supreme Court battle to protect the design of these cases.

They claimed that PMS International’s Kiddee Case range had infringed their registered design rights by producing imitation products.

The case has been discussed thoroughly throughout its course up to the Supreme Court with differing opinions on the rulings.

The High Court ruled in favour of Magmatic where the Court of Appeal ruled against them and in favour of PMS international.

The High Court ruled on the basis of the design as a line drawing and did not see the lack of colour as a factor whereas The Court of Appeal found there was no infringement as the Trunki registered design was a black and white design with a small amount of shading whereas the Kiddee case was renowned for and could demonstrate their colourful designs. There were also inconsistencies with the shape, in relation to horns in respect of Trunki.

Unfortunately for the Trunki producer, the Supreme Court has agreed with the Court of Appeal and ruled against Magmatic stating their registered design rights were not infringed.

Lord Neuberger dismissed Magmatic's appeal agreeing with the Court of Appeal's decision as well as criticising Arnold LJ for failing to consider a number of issues including those in relation to the horns and colour at first instance when the case was at the High Court.

He did though express sympathy with Magmatic, as they could not prevent the production of the imitation products.

This clearly shows the difficulty that lies in protecting designs. The best protection can be sought through registration.

Contact Lawdit for more information on how to best protect your IP.

If you'd like to know more about this article please send an email to Ellis Sweetenham quoting the article title and any questions you might have, alternatively call the office number on 02380 235 979 or send an enquiry through our contact form.

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