The court heard that Utopia Tableware Ltd had registered and unregistered design rights over its Aspen range of glasses, which were characterised by being tall and having a narrow waist towards the centre. The glasses were used by some major brewing companies.

Utopia objected when another manufacturer started producing glasses which were very similar in design. The rival submitted that the design was commonplace but Utopia said there were exclusive features to its range.

It also said that it would suffer unquantifiable losses if an injunction were not granted and lose its reputation as a supplier of unique glasses. There was also a risk that other manufacturers would start producing similar glasses leading to further losses for Utopia.

The court held that there was an arguable case that the design was not commonplace and that there had been an infringement. There was also no question that Utopia would suffer harm if the injunction was not granted.

However, both parties were putting forward credible evidence as to when the rival company’s designs had been formulated. The court therefore granted Utopia’s application for an interim injunction.

The matter can be looked at again at a later date when more evidence becomes available.

Please contact Jonathan Robson if you would like any more information about the issues raised in this article or any matter relating to copyright and protecting intellectual property.

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