Martin Howe QC and Henry Ward recently acted for the successful Claimant before Mr Justice Birss in the Patents County Court in Sealed Air Limited v Sharp Interpack Limited, Sharpak Aylesham Limited  EWPCC 23. The case concerned Community Registered Design, UK Registered Design and UK unregistered design right in plastic soft fruit punnets, which the Defendant was alleged to have infringed by making their own range of plastic soft fruit punnet products.
The Judge held that the Defendants’ products did not produce on the informed user the same overall impression as the registered designs due to the fact that a large number of the similarities derived from functional and/or conventional elements, and accordingly held that they did not infringe the registered design rights.
With regard to UK unregistered design right, the Defendants’ did not admit or deny copying, and in the circumstances of the case the Judge held that a number of similarities between the punnets had indeed arisen out of copying. Accordingly the Judge held that the Defendants had infringed the Claimant’s UK unregistered design right.