Baa Stool secures copycat settlement

When Anti Copying In Design (ACID) member Baa Stool recently discovered its intellectual property (IP) had been infringed, the homeware manufacturer took immediate action and instructed ACID legal affiliates McDaniel & Co to write a letter – before action – setting out its claim.

Shortly afterwards, Baa Stool received a signed undertaking from the infringing firm- The Swedish Wooden Horse Company – which has undertaken not to make, import, sell or offer for sale the infringing article. This outcome has been reached without the need for a hearing or long-drawn-out and time-consuming legal correspondence.

Kelly Hudson, a director of McDaniel & Co., acting for Baa Stool, said: “Knowing the sector and from a perspective of many years of dealing with design-led IP infringement, it was clear that this was an infringement and, armed with all the facts and evidence, I created an effective letter before action, which resulted in an early settlement for Baa Stool. Job done!”

Baa Stool is a small independent UK company that has been trading since 2013, known for creating sheepskin upholstered stools and accessories. Baa Stool owner Michelle Bartleet-Greavey commented: “Discovering a copied design can not only be deeply upsetting but can have such a negative financial impact on a company like ours. I pursued this not only to get a result, but to demonstrate that our message is crystal clear: do not copy us because we will take the necessary legal action to defend our IP rights.”

ACID ceo Dids Macdonald OBE added: “Acting promptly and obtaining the correct legal advice can be crucial to turning the situation around and getting a positive result. Publishing a successful settlement actively promotes a company’s proactive IP strategy.”

ACID is a trade association for designers and manufacturers committed to fighting design theft and lobbying Parliament for design law reform. Members’ benefits include access to a IP legal hotline for initial free advice.

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