19 July 2024, 07:10
By Furniture News Oct 02, 2023

Supplier triumphs over design copyist

Core Products has successfully taken action against a retailer which copied its designs and was selling them to customers in the UK.

The company, represented by IP specialists at Taylors Solicitors, took action against Mercers Furniture Limited, which infringed its design rights by replicating items from its Augusta Collection of bedroom and downstairs furniture.

The company instructed Taylors to pursue Mercers Furniture Limited and its director Richard Mercer in respect of the infringement. The items copied were a bedside cabinet, chests of drawers, a wardrobe, a coffee table, a flatscreen TV unit and sideboards.

Mercers Furniture Limited and Richard Mercer have provided undertakings to Core Products in respect of the infringement. These undertakings were to not manufacture, hold or sell the copied products, to deliver the infringing items in its possession to Core Products’ warehouse in Glenrothes, to retrieve the infringing stocks from trade buyers and deliver them to Glenrothes, to destroy all items in its possession which infringed the copyright of Core Products’ designs, such as materials and plans, and to pay a contribution towards Core Products’ legal costs.

Core Products, which is headquartered in Perth, Scotland, is an award-winning, family-owned supplier of furniture, shelving and storage products. It designs and develops all its products and supplies retailers, online retailers and consumers.

The Augusta range is a casual style which blends real wood with an antique wax finish, with contrasting hairpin legs and grip handles.

Taylors successfully undertook action last year for infringement of Core Products’ design rights in a dual case against retailers VidaXL Marketplace Limited and HBI Commerce Limited, but then discovered Mercers Furniture Limited, which is based in Rotherham, had also copied its products and was selling them to customers in the UK.

Tony Catterall, Taylors’ head of IP, and IP lawyer Rebecca Horne, led the team which acted for Core Products.

Tony, who is an affiliate lawyer with Anti-Copying in Design (ACID), says: “The Augusta Collection is an important and successful range for Core Products, a company which spends a lot of money on the design and creation of its furniture. Its products deserve to be protected against copying.

“This is the second case in which we have represented Core Products in protecting the Augusta designs, and we have successfully settled on both occasions. We are delighted to have once again assisted the company in protecting its IP against infringers. Our success demonstrates that those who seek shortcuts to success by copying successful designs will pay a heavy price.

“We hope these two examples show others that are thinking of infringing Core Products’ ranges that copying will not be tolerated and that the company is willing to do what it takes to shield their brand. Core Products will not let others get away with infringing its products for their own financial gain.”

Mary Wallace, a director of Core Products, adds: “We are justifiably proud of our heritage of designing and developing furniture which has been specifically tailored to appeal to UK consumers. It is thanks to 35 years of experience within the furniture industry that we can develop the pieces we sell, and we strongly feel the integrity of our products should be protected. This settlement, along with the previous case, reflects our commitment to this.”

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