The changing landscape of registered designs

Magmatic maker of the Trunki known as both a Dragon’s Den reject and a great British success story, has lost the Court of Appeal battle to protect its registered design. Technology & Media expert Jessica Bent analyses why this happened and suggests what product designers need to remember to maximise their protection.

Flash quiz If a manufacturer produces a design that looks similar to a registered design, which also performs the same function and the manufacturer admits to copying the design, are they infringing a registered design?

Answer: No

This was the Court of Appeal judgment in a real case: Hong Kong based PMS International Ltd did not infringe the registered design of “Trunki”: by Magmatic Ltd when it copied its children’s suitcase design. And yet both the suitcases are in the shape of animals and are on wheels, created to allow the children to be pushed while sitting on their luggage.

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