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Van Neder Nv Wins Major Copyright Case

» Posted on: 27 July 2012

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Taylors Belgian Textile Weaver client Weverij Van Neder NV has won its High Court battle against Chinese owned textile importer and distributor Fu Long Limited and been awarded over £375,000.

Van Neder’s claim was for an injunction restraining copyright infringement and damages for lost sales of two successful jacquard designs, namely Nevada and Arizona, that were copied by Fu Long and marketed in the UK by Fu Long on its website www.fulongltd.com. Prior to the importation of Fu Long’s copies, sales of Van Neder’s designs had been strong but these tailed off when cheap reproductions flooded into the UK market. High Court proceedings were issued on Van Neder’s behalf by Taylors specialist home furnishings copyright unit.

Fu Long defended the proceedings on the spurious ground that its designs pre-dated those of Van Neder. Fu Long sought to substantiate this allegation by producing Chinese trade mark registration documents, but investigations conducted by Taylors demonstrated that these documents were forged by or on behalf of Fu Long.

The claim against Fu Long came on for trial in the High Court in London on 20 June 2012 when the Judge granted a permanent injunction against Fu Long, its employees or agents preventing the importation and sale of its fabrics known as “Script”, “Liberty” or “Libretto” and as “Eden”, “Anthony” or “Antonio” each of which were copies of Van Neder’s Nevada and Arizona designs. The Court also ordered delivery up to Van Neder of all residual stocks of the infringing designs and awarded damages, interests and costs which Fu Long were ordered to pay in the total sum of £375,289.

Tony Catterall, who led Taylors’ Legal Team on the project said:

"This is the third occasion in the last 18 months in which we have successfully defeated a false defence to infringement proceedings put forward by the importers of infringing fabrics manufactured in China. Van Neder’s success in obtaining a very substantial judgment for damages and costs illustrates that the English legal system has teeth with which to bite plagiarists. This judgment should send a strong message to those seeking to ride on the creative efforts of reputable designers that they will be made to suffer the financial consequences of their unlawful conduct. This victory for Van Neder represents another step along the road towards stamping out blatant plagiarism."

Van Neder “Nevada” Design Infringing Fu Long “Script” and/or “Liberty/Libretto” Design
Van Neder “Arizona” Design Infringing Fu Long “Eden” and/or “Anthony/Antonio” Design

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