Magmatic, the firm behind the Trunki ride-on children’s suitcase, has lost its fight to block an imported rival range from being distributed in the UK.
The ruling – passed in the Court of Appeal – saw Basildon-based firm PMS International succeed in its recent appeal against a High Court Judgement banning sales of Kiddee Cases.
PMS won the unanimous support of three Court of Appeal Judges; Lord Justice Moses, Lady Justice Black and Lord Justice Kitchin who decreed that “various errors” had been made in last year’s judgement that found PMS’ Kiddee Case in infringement of the European Community Registered Design of the Trunki.
Welcoming the outcome of the appeal, Paul Beverley (pictured) managing director of PMS International, said the decision was “a victory for common sense that underscores the consumer’s right to have a choice.”
He added: “During these tough economic times, consumers need to have access to competitively priced product.
“The right of choice shouldn’t be denied to lower income families, providing there is no relevant patent or design infringement.”
The Court of Appeal judgement confirms that the Kiddee Cases do not infringe Magmatic managing director Robert Law’s Europe wide design registration for Trunki because ‘in legal terms they created very different overall impressions on consumers.’
The Judges commented that the PMS versions were ‘much more animal like in appearance.’
Beverley added: “It’s a great day for legitimate competition and demonstrates the effectiveness of the British justice system.
“PMS now expects to be very busy on this great item. We have a great looking product. We took great care to produce competitively priced and quite different looking children’s ride-on cases.
The successful outcome of our appeal is also confirmation that design registrations cannot be used to stop unpatented design concepts from facing fair competition from products that simply look quite different.
“If this were not the case, Hoover would be the only vacuum cleaner on the market and Apple would be the only tablet.”