Temple Island Win Second Court Judgment


TempleIslandRedBusACID (Anti Copying in Design) member, Temple Island Collection Ltd, have won a second victory against New English Teas in an intellectual property action in the Patents County Court to protect their famous Red Bus image. After lengthy legal proceedings resulting in New English Teas agreeing to no longer use the first design, New England Teas released a re-designed tea range in late 2010 (without reference to Temple Island Collection) which again featured a red bus image that Temple Island Collection and its legal team felt was once again an infringement of its copyright.

In his judgment, his honour Judge Colin Birss QC said, “On the question of copying, I find that the common elements between the defendant’s work and the claimant’s work are causally related.  In other words, they have been copied… I have decided that the defendants’ work does reproduce a substantial part of the claimant’s artistic work.” Judgment was given in favour of Temple Island Collection Ltd on 12th January 2012, with his honour Judge Birss QC denying the Defendants permission to appeal.

Philip Partington, an intellectual property expert from ACID Accredited law firm McDaniel & Co said, “The action for copyright infringement was the second made by Temple Island Collection against New English Teas. Action was first taken in 2010, on discovering a range of products by New English Teas showing a red bus design, which Temple Island Collection and their lawyers felt was a copy of their famous image.”

The outcome was wholeheartedly welcomed by Managing Director of Temple Island Collection Ltd, Justin Fielder who said, “As creator of the Red Bus image and originators of the product concept we gave New England Teas the opportunity to license with us and work collaboratively, but this was declined. Upon discovery of their use of the imagery a second time, we felt we had no alternative other than to pursue legal proceedings once again. Now matters have been decided, we look forward to extending and developing this successful range, which we’re confident will sell exceptionally well before and during the Olympic Games. We’re also delighted that our licensing partners House of Dorchester are launching new Red Bus biscuit products this Spring.”

Dids Macdonald, ACID’s CEO said, “The proceedings have once again served to highlight the importance of protecting intellectual property.  The UK has a heritage of innovation and design, with leading brands such as Doc Martin and Dyson serving as great examples, yet recent reports show 23% of small and medium sized enterprises have had their business significantly affected by IP crime.”

Temple Island Collection Ltd is one of the leading names in visitor and heritage retail for both skilfully designed bespoke product and their own successful gift ranges. Their customers range from multi-national corporations, major visitor destinations, councils and charities to independents and small sites. www.templeisland.com

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