The first case regards Galleri Mikael & Thomas Asplund Aktiebolag’s (“Asplund”) Palais-tables. Asplund decided to take legal action against Mio AB, Mio Försäljning AB and Mio e-handel AB (the “Mio Group”) and claimed that the Palais-table is a copyright protected work and that the Mio Group’s Cord-tables infringed on Asplund’s design.
The Swedish Patent and Market Court (the “Court”) stated that the overall impression of the Palais-tables design can be found in its entirety in the Cord-tables and that the similarities refer to all the characteristic elements of the design and have a very strong impact on the overall impression of the work. Although there are differences in the details such as the dimensions of the table, they are very similar on a closer inspection. The Court therefore considered that the Cord-tables have a striking and overwhelming similarity to the Palais-table and thus the Mio group infringed on Asplund’s copyright to the Palais-table.
The Court passed a sentence which prohibits the Mio Group from manufacturing, marketing and selling the Cord-tables under penalty of a fine of SEK 1,000,000. The Mio Group will also have to pay a reasonable compensation to Asplund for taking advantage of their design and the loss of profit and damage to their reputation.
The Mio Group has appealed the decision to the Swedish Patent and Market Court of Appeal.
The second case regards Dux Design AB (“Dux”), which owns the design of the Jetson armchair. Dux decided to take legal action against a furniture upholsterer for copyright infringement. Dux claimed that the cushion for the Jetson armchair is a copyright protected work and that the cushions produced by the furniture upholsterer are copies of the Jetson armchair cushion.
The furniture upholsterer objected that the design of the cushion for the Jetson armchair is functional attributable and, therefore, it could not have copyright protection separately from the armchair. Furthermore, the furniture upholsterer claimed that his armchair cushions are not to be considered copies of the Jetson cushion. In addition, he also stated that since Dux previously accepted the existence of his cushions on the market, the company could not intervene against him now.
The Court held that the cushion for the armchair Jetson is original in the sense that it is the creator’s own intellectual creation and thus protected by copyright. Furthermore, the Court considered that the furniture upholsterer’s cushions are almost identical to the Jetson cushion and therefore infringe on Dux’s exclusive rights. The furniture upholsterer was therefore prohibited from manufacturing, marketing and selling his cushions under penalty of a fine of SEK 500,000. He was also ordered to pay SEK 30,000 as reasonable compensation for the use of Dux’s copyright.
Kelin Taylor Lundgren (Associate)
Lisa van den Berg (Associate)
Contact persons for Hammarskiöld’s intellectual property team:
Claes Langenius (Partner)
Lisa van den Berg (Associate)