Old English Company Ltd, who design and manufacture a range of high-quality bespoke giftware items, has successfully resolved a copyright infringement dispute against national supermarket chain Morrisons over the sale of infringing designs printed on mugs. Old English Company were assisted by ACID’s legal affiliate, McDaniels Law. Despite not admitting liability, Morrisons and Old English reached a settlement, the terms of which are confidential.
Old English became aware that Morrisons were selling products which appeared to have incorporated the whole or a substantial part of the bespoke artistic work created by them which are protected by copyright. Old English thus sought legal advice and commenced pre-action correspondence. The agreement to settle the dispute, without the necessity of proceedings, was a good outcome for both parties.
ACID Legal Affiliate Kelly Hudson, a Director of McDaniels Law, said, “This has been an impressive result for Old English, they have been able to enforce their rights and obtain a very positive result without the need for Court proceedings, which should always be a last resort. If settlement is possible, we will always try to achieve this for clients, provided it is the right settlement for them.”
Old English MD, Ben Treanor, said, “I am delighted with the settlement; it can be daunting to go up against a big opponent, as was the case here as the Defendant was a national chain, but if anything that made the issue all the more important as this was a mass reproduction and infringement at prices which sought to significantly undercut our products due to large scale, cheap manufacture.”
Dids Macdonald, OBE., Chief Executive of ACID said, “Typically when a much smaller company suffers alleged copying by major retail chains and a settlement is reached, the retail chain usually insist on confidentiality so that there is no reputational damage. It is a strategy which ACID does not support. Increasingly micro companies pitted against major retail chains are taking to social media because they want to name and shame this practice. I hope that in 2021 there will be more corporate social responsibility by major players to respect the IP of others and be held to account.”