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.