Trunki’s suitcase battle checks in to Supreme Court

Trunki’s suitcase battle checks in to Supreme Court

Magmatic Limited (“Magmatic”) and PMS International Ltd (“PMS”) have now presented their cases to the judges of the Supreme Court. 

Back in February, Bristol-based Magmatic (creator of the ‘Trunki’ children’s suitcase) was given permission to appeal to the Supreme Court (see previous update). 

This case is likely to be of particular significance to the manufacturing and design industry across Europe, whichever way the Supreme Court decides. Magmatic founder, Rob Law, has generated a popular #ProtectYourDesign social media campaign in order to promote appropriate IP protection for British designers in light of this case. 

It is expected that the decision will give greater clarity on the protection afforded to designs which have been registered using computer-aided design (“CAD”) drawings. Magmatic had previously argued that since its CAD drawings did not detail any surface decoration, any decoration (which potentially acted to differentiate PMS’ “Kiddee Case”) should be ignored in deciding if Magmatic’s registered community designs (“RCDs”) had been infringed. The Court of Appeal disagreed with this argument and chose to take into account the surface decoration and colour of the Trunki and Kiddee Case products when considering the overall impression of the infringing PMS designs.  

If the Court of Appeal decision is upheld, this could mean CAD drawings (which are used for approximately 30% of RCDs) are no longer offered the same protection as line drawings, as infringing parties could claim differences by way of surface decoration. 

It is anticipated that the Supreme Court will deliver its ruling within the next few weeks. We will update you as soon as the judgment is published.