ACID member wins case against lookalike retailer

ACID member and furniture designer Core Products has gained victory over Mercers Furniture, a retailer which copied its designs and was selling them to customers in the UK.

Represented by ACID Legal Affiliates Taylors Solicitors, they successfully took action about products which infringed its design rights by replicating items from its Augusta Collection of bedroom and downstairs furniture.

The items copied were a bedside cabinet, chests of drawers, a wardrobe, a coffee table, a flat-screen TV unit and sideboards. Mercers Furniture Limited and Richard Mercer have provided undertakings to Core Products in respect of the infringement.

These undertakings were to not manufacture, hold or sell the copied products, to deliver the infringing items in their possession to Core Products’ warehouse in Glenrothes, to retrieve the infringing stocks from trade buyers and deliver them to Glenrothes, to destroy all items in their possession which infringed the copyright of Core Products’ designs, such as materials and plans, and to pay a contribution towards Core Products’ legal costs.

Core Products, which has its headquarters in Perth, Scotland, is an award-winning, family-owned supplier of furniture, shelving, and storage products. It designs and develops all its products and supplies retailers, online retailers, and consumers.

The Augusta range is a casual style which blends real wood with an antique wax finish, with contrasting hairpin legs and grip handles.

Taylors successfully undertook action last year for infringement of Core Products’ design rights in a dual case against retailers VidaXL Marketplace Limited and HBI Commerce Limited, but then discovered Mercers Furniture Limited, which is based in Rotherham, had also copied its products, and was selling them to customers in the UK.

Tony Catterall, Taylors’ head of intellectual property, and IP lawyer Rebecca Horne led the team which acted for Core Products said: “The Augusta Collection is an important and successful range for Core Products, a company which spends a lot of money on the design and creation of its furniture. Its products deserve to be protected against copying. “This is the second case in which we have represented Core Products in protecting the Augusta designs, and we have successfully settled on both occasions.

“We are delighted to have once again assisted the company in protecting its intellectual property against infringers. Our success demonstrates that those who seek shortcuts to success by copying successful designs will pay a heavy price. We hope these two examples show others that are thinking of infringing Core Products’ ranges that copying will not be tolerated and that the company is willing to do what it takes to shield their brand. Core Products will not let others get away with infringing its products for their own financial gain.”

Mary Wallace, a director of Core Products, said: “We are justifiably proud of our heritage of designing and developing furniture which has been specifically tailored to appeal to UK consumers. It is thanks to 35 years of experience within the furniture industry that we can develop the pieces we sell, and we strongly feel the integrity of our products should be protected. This settlement, along with the previous case, reflects our commitment to this.”

Dids Macdonald OBE CEO of ACID said: “Core Products, in so vigorously defending their IP rights, continue to strongly reinforce their commitment to brand protection and deterrence in their ongoing anti copying strategy. With Tony Catterall’s expert advice they were able to take effective action to protect their market share.”

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