ACID members Romo Limited, designers of original and exclusive soft furnishings decided to take enforcement action against Linda Barker and associated company Really Linda Barker Limited after they discovered what they considered to be their original Simonii cushion designs being marketed under the Linda Barker banner. At first, despite letters from ACID Accredited Law Firm Hammonds, there was no response, but undertakings were later received from Linda Barker and the company confirming that the relevant images had been removed from the website and would not be reproduced in future catalogues. They also agreed to immediately withdraw all articles with the “Carnation Cushions” design from sale, remove all references to them from their marketing and advertising campaigns and not to infringe Romo’s copyright in its Simonii design or any of its other IP rights. The Linda Barker call centre was also instructed not to take orders for Carnation Cushion products in future.
Following the settlement, Vic Fairbanks of Romo said, ”As market leaders within soft furnishings, Romo have a robust IP protection strategy and we are determined that our market share will not be eroded by what we considered to be look-alike products being sold”.
Dids Macdonald, ACID’s CEO commenting on the case said, “I think it is really important that any celebrity putting their name to a signature range of products should be absolutely sure of their IP origins. Being associated with look-alikes would seem to be counter productive”.