Round version infringes copy rights Piet Hein Eek rectangular table

The shape of furniture (and other shapes of applied arts) can be easily protected with a design registration. This can be licensed to third parties and can be used in infringement cases. In case there is no design registration copyright law may provide a solution.

Piet Hein Eek graduated in 1993 from the Design Academy in Eindhoven with a demolished wood cabinet. His work has been displayed in the City Museum of Amsterdam and in Groningen. When one of his ex-employees offers similar furniture he starts a procedure. The judge assumes that the furniture Piet Hein Eek designed have copyright. The rectangular table is made a lacquered tiles and certainly has an original and personal character. When a table is made in a different shape, but maintains all the other characteristics there is an infringement of copyright.


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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?
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