- Alert: IPEC rules on joint ownership of design rights in scooters (Scomadi v RA Engineering)
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IP analysis: The Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC) has ruled on the construction of an agreement relating to the ownership of intellectual property rights in retro-style motor scooters. The claimants had come up with the idea of re-launching updated versions of the classic Lambretta scooter and had entered into two agreements with the defendants in relation to the production of the scooters. The relationship between the parties subsequently broke down and the court was asked to determine a number of issues, including whether the defendants were entitled to manufacture and sell certain scooter models pursuant to one of the agreements, whether certain registered Community designs (RCDs) owned by the claimants were valid, and whether they were infringed by the defendants’ scooters. In a judgment which shows the importance of carefully drafting contractual provisions relating to the ownership of intellectual property rights, the court concluded that the defendants were entitled to manufacture and sell the models in question pursuant to the true construction of the agreement. It was therefore not necessary to consider infringement and validity, but the court ruled in any event that two of the claimants’ RCDs were valid and that one of the RCDs would have been infringed by one of the scooters produced by the defendants.
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