Unlawful Imitation Blond - Xenos

Blond has marketed pottery and tin cans since 2002, under the name ’Even bijkletsen’, which loosely translated mean “catching up”. The products are decorated with images of cupcakes, coffee beans, sugar cubes and written text. On one of the tin cans two chatting women are depicted, sitting at a table. Xenos, the competitor, sells tin cans as well, and introduces one that also has tow chatting women at a table, enjoying a snack. Blond claims that this is an infringement of her copyright and an unlawful imitation of her renowned product line. Xenos’ product is clearly in the same type of style as that of Blond.

The Court of First Instance declined Blond’s claims, stating that a style cannot be protected by copyright or any other right for that matter. The court further states that there is no unlawful imitation. The Court of Appeal, however, has a somewhat different opinion.

The Court of Appeal agrees with the Court of First Instance in that there is no copyright infringement. The differences between Xenos’ product and Blond’s products is large enough to avoid copyright infringement. The Court of Appeal does believe though, that Bold’s products have their own position on the market.

When examining the decorations on Xenos’product the Court finds that the drawings have the same feeling to it, the colors, text and layout all seem very similar. Ultimately leading to an end product that is very much like that of Blond. The resemblance is of such severity that the consumer may get confused. Xenos could have just as easily chosen an entirely different style. The Court of Appeal decided that Xenos imitated Blond’s products unlawfully. An injuction followed with a € 1.000.000 fine on any further sales.

copyright



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