Copyright claim on metal basket - wire basket versus Burly basket Round

In 2012, Trine Anderson designs the Wire Basket. She created this design as an employee of the firm Ferm Living. In the Netherlands the copyrights belong to the company if the products have been made by employees (as part of their job). Many (daily used) products can be protected by copyrights. However, if no possible creative choices have been made (as the shape is too basic), the design cannot be protected. The Burly Basket Round, introduced by the company Lifestyle, has a great resemblance to the Wire Basket. This raises the question if the Burly Basket Round is an infringement of the copyrights of Ferm Living. Lifestyle states that, due to the trivial and functional shape of the Wire Basket Round, no Intellectual property claims can be made.

The judge does not agree. The basket has symmetrical rhombic shapes and mirrored a-symmetrical hourglasses. It is obvious that creative choices have been made. Nothing similar appeared on the market before. The copyright protected elements of the Wire Basket are being used in the Burly Basket as well. The fact that the steal is a bit thinner and that the wires are welded is irrelevant. The overall impression is the same, leading to the conclusion that there is infringement. The stock has to be destroyed and Lifestyle has to compensate the damages, including legal costs, suffered by Ferm Living (a total of 17.000 Euros).

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PURE - MENTOS

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