Nursery Today magazine

Trunki fights court ruling on behalf of small British companies

Trunki have spoken out about a recent Court of Appeal ruling in which they sought to block an imported rival range of children’s ride on suitcases being distributed in the UK

On 28 February 2014, a Court of Appeal hearing took place after Magmatic, the Bristol-based company behind Trunki, won a High Court Judgment in July 2013 against PMS International for infringing the European Community Registered Design (CRD) of Magmatic’s award-winning Trunki suitcase with PMS’s Kiddee Case. The judgment was overturned by Lord Justice Kitchin last week. 

However, Magmatic say they intend to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. It argues that the impact of this decision could not only affect its own business but also jeopardise millions of existing European registered designs relied upon by small companies to protect the shape of novel products into which they’ve heavily invested.

The Court of Appeal decided that, in assessing whether one design gave the same “overall impression” as another, the surface decoration used on the Kiddee Case was relevant.

Magmatic’s Rob Law said: “We believe this decision is problematic on many levels. In theory, we believe, it means design registration for a shape can be overcome simply by adding surface decoration – like a print, pattern or marking. It’s impossible to register the infinite amount of all surface decorations applied to one shape and, we think, this decision makes it extremely unclear what protection is granted by the European Design Registry, the body which grants registered rights in product shapes.”

Law adds: “This is not just a fight for our ride-on suitcase but one which will have practical implications for all creative industries today, putting thousands of British businesses under threat. We’re proud to design and manufacture our products in this country and expect them to be protected by our legal system. By taking this decision to a higher court, we are determined to overturn this decision on behalf of all responsible businesses across Europe.”

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