Big brands that lost trademark fights to crafty – and smaller – overseas rivals

(3) Magmatic

The battle over whether Hong Kong-based PMS International’s Kiddee Case take on the suitcase on wheels for kids infringes Trunki’s design lasted almost three years. And the legal expenses and ongoing competition, “which is available to buy in the UK”, had dented Magmatic’s finances, founder Rob law said.

In 2013, the British High Court determined Trunki’s European design registration had been infringed, but the ruling was overturned at the Court of Appeal in 2014.

The Supreme Court found that while the Kiddee Case had a “number of features similar” to Trunki’s community registered design, it had notable differences to the original copyright – such as its use of colour.

The difficulties faced when disrupting two industries at the same time

In his judgment, Lord Neuberger said the conclusion had been reached “with some regret” as “it appears clear PMS had conceived the idea of manufacturing a Kiddee Case as a result of seeing a Trunki”.

He added: “Unfortunately for Magmatic, however, this appeal is not concerned with an idea or an invention, but with a design.”

Law claimed to have spent £500,000 fighting design infringement battles, throwing more cash at protecting its brand than on research and development.

Jeremy Drew, head of Intellectual Property at RPC, explained that the Supreme Court’s ruling underscores that design law exists to protect specific designs, not ideas.

Read on to find out how McDonald’s lost out to an Indian restaurant.

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