When a competitor launches a similar scratching post, Petsbelle demands a ban based on a design registration, filed on March 30th 2018. However, the competitor argues invalidity of this model, as a promotional video of this product was posted on Facebook on 22 March 2017. The application was therefore submitted after twelve months and eight days of disclosure. Novelty is not about the date of first sale, but about the first disclosure. The ban order based on the registered community design is rejected, because the EU model is invalid due to the promotional video.
There’s a lesson to be learned here. No matter how enthusiastic one may be about a new product, beware of online publications before a product is brought to market. Premature publication can prove disastrous when the rights still have to be protected. (Source image: decision rechtspraak.nl)design-law