tomarial has obtained a relevant and innovative ruling that affects industrial design, issued by the Eighth Section of the Provincial Court of Alicante, which acts in this case as the Community Designs and Models court. Since it has not been appealed, the ruling is final and dismisses the accusation of plagiarism referring to a piece of furniture, specifically a pouf, while recognizing the prevalence of a registered industrial design over another design that was earlier in time but not registered.

This ruling rejects the lawsuit filed by the furniture company Viccarbe Habitat SL against Global Sofás SL and Hacemos Proyectos Creativos SL, which it accused of copyright infringement, infringement of an unregistered community model and acts of unfair competition. The plaintiff has also been ordered to pay the costs. The first company is a manufacturer and marketer of furniture and the second, the designer of the pouf that is the reason for the lawsuit. The claim was already dismissed in the first instance by the Court of Designs and Models number 2 of Alicante and that ruling has been ratified by the Provincial Court after its appeal. His ruling is now final, since it has not been appealed.

Global Sofas and We Make Creative Projects have been defended by the Tomarial firm and the ruling has supported their arguments: the reason for the lawsuit is not a plagiarism of another model from the plaintiff company; Global Sofás had protected this seat model with a valid registered community model and also argued that there were differences between the models marketed by both companies. The ruling has completely dismissed the lawsuit, denying any infringement of copyright, industrial design protection or unfair competition.

The ruling also rejects the claim of the plaintiff, Viccarbe, regarding the singular or novel nature of its pouf. The lack of uniqueness of the model, an unregistered model, does not deserve industrial protection protection. The Global Sofás pouf that was the subject of the dispute did have a valid registered community model.

Tomás Vázquez Lépinette, Professor of Commercial Law, partner at Tomarial and lawyer at Global Sofás in this case, explains that the ruling “It is relevant because it is issued by the Provincial Court of Alicante in its capacity as the Court of Community Designs and Models, which is the reference court in Spain for issues of protection of trademarks and designs of the European Union. And in this case, the prevalence of the registered industrial design of a piece of furniture is recognized over another design that was previously launched on the market but was not registered. The legislation protects unregistered designs for 3 years, but there must also be characteristics of novelty and uniqueness that were not met in this case.".

On the left, the defendant company's pouf and on the right, the plaintiff's model.

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