UK fashion firm Karen Millen secures major victory against Dunnes over copycat clothing
UK fashion firm Karen Millen has secured a major court victory against Dunnes Stores in a decision that will make it tougher for retailers to sell copycat clothing designs.
The case at the European Court of Justice revolved around a black top and two shirts that Karen Millen put on sale in December 2005. In 2006, Dunnes put similar items on sale under its Savida range.
The High Court here had previously ruled that Dunnes Stores had breached EU rules by copying the Karen Millen designs and selling similar items in its own stores.
It said that Dunnes had infringed Karen Millen's rights to unregistered community design under relevant legislation in each of the three designs. Those rights mean that designs are protected for three years, as the cost of registering each design is too high.
But Dunnes Stores had appealed that finding to the Supreme Court, which in turn asked the European Court of Justice to rule on some relevant points of law.