Designs - Trunki case closes and sends Kiddee case packing

Designs - Trunki case closes and sends Kiddee case packing

[caption id="attachment_1111" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Got some junk in your Trunki?[/caption]

What was the case about?

Magmatic sells a well-known children’s suitcase known as ‘Trunki‘, famously turned down by the investors in Dragons Den after Peter Jones claimed it could be copied in seven days. PMS designed a similar range of children’s luggage known as ‘Kiddee Case’ which was admittedly inspired by the Trunki.

From left to right in the graphic above: (1) Registered Community Design image for the Trunki (2) a Trunki (3) a Kiddee Case

Magmatic alleged PMS had infringed its:

  • Community Registered Design (CRD)
  • design rights (unregistered)
  • copyright in the artwork for the packaging, and
  • copyright in the safety notice

What did the court say about prior disclosure of the ‘Rodeo’ design when considering validity of the CRD?

The Trunki had an animal-based luggage forerunner, called the ‘Rodeo’, which was designed by the owner of Magmatic while he was at university. The Rodeo won a prize in a student competition, the Institute of Materials Design Award 1998.

PMS alleged the design award ceremony constituted disclosure of the Rodeo design which therefore should form part of the relevant design corpus when considering the novelty and individual character of the CRD under Council Reg (EC) 6/2000, arts 4, 5 and 6 (the Regulation). Magmatic sought to rely on the ‘obscure disclosures’ exception under art 7(1) of the Regulation (the other exception is for confidential disclosures). The court held, however, the exception did not apply—Magmatic could not prove the design of the Rodeo could not reasonably have become known

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