Monday, January 02, 2012

EU Design Law: Infringement Case Correctly Decided by UK Courts In Dyson v. Vax, Not Extending Protection to Products of Different Overall Impression


The result in this case restores one's faith in the sanity of the courts, at least in the UK and the EU.

As reported at LexixNexis.com in Design Law Sucks: Dyson Fails in Court of Appeal Infringement Action, a vacuum cleaner design infringement suit was decided by the UK High Court and Court of Appeal against the Dyson registered design.

This is a wonderful case because Dyson was trying to monopolize generalities of design, rather than protecting the specific design of its particular product.

The designs of the Dyson and Vax were found to be similar but their overall impression to be different. The judges said THEY could see the difference, and that was enough.

We too have no problem in distinguishing a Dyson from a Vax.

This basic test is a lesson that the courts have not yet learned in their assessment of similarly protected overly general designs for technology such as mobile phones and pc tablets, where overly general designs have been stupidly protected, allowing rectangles with rounded corners to be sold by monopolists (Apple v. Samsung).

We say that beer is the paradigm example for the correct judicial standard in intellectual property. God created fermentation. Man created beer. You can protect YOUR particular brand of brewed beer, but it gives you no right to keep others from brewing their own particular brand of brewed beer, similar as it may be.

Sell your rectangles with rounded corners all you want, but do not deny others from selling their own rectangles with rounded corners all they want.

Why many judges and courts do not understand this basic truth in the technology patent and design sector is one of the great mysteries of modern jurisprudence.

 

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