Zigzagpatroon Nikkie Plessen

Copyright also applies to works of applied art. Because trends change rapidly in the garments-/fashion industry, manufacturers often rely on unregistered designs or on copyright to protect their designs. The disadvantage, of course, is that the burden of proof of the copyright lies with the manufacturer, whereas in the case of a registered design, the court assumes this. This plays an important role in, among others, the clothing of designer Nikkie Plessen.

Nikki has been marketing a red-black dress with a zigzag pattern since 2018. When Just Dai comes with a similar pattern on a pair of pants and a top body, she seeks a ban order.

Nikkie submits her original design drawings. The judge concludes that this pattern is the result of creative choices made by the designer, and holds that the design is copyright protected.

The design is also clearly different from the zigzag patterns that Just Dai has found. Because this eye-catching pattern is used, the overall impression is the same. The fact that this concerns a pair of trousers and body top is irrelevant, nor is the different colour scheme. The result: infringement is assumed, prohibition is ordered, along with a profit transfer, payment of the costs of the legal proceedings.


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MENTOS has been selling chewing gum under the name MENTOS PURE FRESH for several years. In order to protect her rights MENTOS has registered the following trademarks: the logo MENTOS PURE FRESH, the logo MENTOS PURE FRESH 3 and a figurative depiction of the word PURE. Defendant sells chewing gum under the trademark DENTYNE PURE and has registered its logo as a trademark. Infringement or not?