Cutlery designer Robert Welch has reached a settlement with Marks & Spencer in a dispute over look-alike packaging.
In a joint statement the companies said:
“Cutlery and gifts specialist Robert Welch Designs Ltd and Marks & Spencer plc have reached a confidential settlement to the satisfaction of both parties involving a design dispute. Robert Welch claimed that Marks & Spencer plc had copied packaging designs from Robert Welch’s Radford cutlery range on Marks & Spencer’s Loxley and Oxford cutlery collections. Marks & Spencer deny any copying has taken place and maintain that the packaging was independently designed. No admission of liability has been made.”
Robert Welch is a member of the Anti Copying in Design (ACID) organisation. Commenting on the case, its CEO Dids Macdonald said: “Robert Welch have always and will continue to have a proactive and robust approach to what they consider to be look-alike copies on the market. Their last successful copying challenge was against Argos.
“Robert Welch spend a considerable amount of money developing product packaging and are determined to protect their brand image and not allow others to benefit on the back of their investments. One of the most difficult aspects to prove in any alleged copying is copyright infringement in packaging where the images have been changed sufficiently so that legal challenge is difficult and costly.”