Ahlens Settles Lookalike Dispute With Angie Lewin

Angie Lewin Design

Following a successful legal challenge over a look alike fabric by ACID member Angie Lewin, leading Swedish retailer Ahlens have paid nearly £10,000 in costs and damages and confirmed that Ahlens look alike “Ella” print will be taken off the store’s shelves (both on and offline). All further sales of this fabric have been stopped. 

Andrew Lee of ACID Accredited law firm McDaniel & Co comments: “Clearly, the Ella print whilst not being an exact copy, reproduced a substantial part of the Speypath 1 print. Although the infringement did not take place in the UK, those who have artistic copyright benefit from the fact that copyright can be enforced in practically every country in the world because of the Berne Convention.

Alleged Copy

Alleged Copy

In addition, Sweden, being members of the EU, are bound to ensure their national law complies with the 2001 EC Copyright Directive which requires protection for authors from the taking of their works in whole or in part.”

Angie Lewin is a well known printmaker who creates her work using techniques such as linocut/wood engraving, relief printing and lithography. In late 2008 Angie discovered that one her limited edition prints known as the “Speypath 1″ appeared to have been copied and was being offered for sale in Sweden by leading retailer Ahlens. Lewins, commenting on the successful settlement said, “My work is heavily inspired by the natural environment and designs created by me are instantly recognisable to those in the industry and therefore any look-alikes are also easily identifiable. I will always take proactive steps to protect my work, that’s why I joined ACID.”  

Dids Macdonald, ACID’s CEO said, “One of the little known facts is that designers should not assume they cannot enforce their rights abroad or that it is too difficult. This is an excellent example where, with the right specialist IP advice, David can take on the Goliaths and win!”

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