In May, copyright specialist ACID (Anti Copying in Design) wrote to the Supreme Court to seek permission for ACID member Trunki (Magmatic) to appeal to the Court of Appeal Order of 10th April. Last week leave to appeal was granted. To be granted leave to appeal a case which was overturned in the Court of Appeal is a first for an ACID member. Supreme Court hearings last for an average of two days and are usually held before a panel of five Supreme Court Justices (though sometimes seven or nine).
In July 2013, Magmatic successfully sued PMS in the High Court for infringing Trunki's design with an imported lookalike case, but the Court of Appeal reversed this decision in March 2014. The Court of Appeal ruling meant CAD (computer-aided design) drawings would no longer be offered the same protection as line-drawings - which meant third parties would be able to claim differences in surface decoration could be taken in to account when comparing a registered design with that of a lookalike.
Says Rob Law: "We are very pleased that the Supreme Court Justices have granted us permission to appeal. It's the perfect early Christmas present. The decision recognises that there's an unarguable case to answer. But it also confirms, as we and our supporters have always maintained that the issue of design protection is of significant public importance."
Dids Macdonald, CEO of ACID, which filed a submission on behalf of Magmatic to The Supreme Court, comments: "This is very promising news and we hope the Supreme Court, in its first design decision involving an ACID member, will make a sensible judgment to clarify design law. ACID is a united voice on behalf of designers for design law reform. It is paramount that the thousands of members of Britain's incredible design army are protected from the increasing lookalike culture by robust and coherent laws which match those that safeguard designers in the European Community."