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Design Rights Infringer Hit Hard in the Pocket

In a stern warning that those who breach intellectual property rights will be hit hard in the pocket, a company that sold more than £3 million worth of shower units which infringed a rival trader’s design rights has been ordered to pay more than £200,000 in damages.

Three types of electric shower unit marketed by the company B had been found by a judge to infringe its rival’s UK unregistered design rights. The former had sold more than 63,000 of the infringing units, generating total income in excess of £3.3 million.

Despite the company’s protestations that it had in fact sustained a loss, the High Court calculated its net profits on infringing sales at more than £740,000. Damages were assessed on the basis of a ‘reasonable royalty’ of 6.7 per cent of the total value of the sales.