Pat Dawson of ACID member Creative Tops discovered that Peter Hunt, Katy Hackney, and their new company, GeOlivia, were displaying product catalogues at the recent Ambiente fair which had been produced using Creative Tops own CAD (Computer aided design) shapes. Creative Tops also learnt that their customers had been contacted with offers to undercut their prices. Following a call to Mark Heritage of Hammonds Manchester IP department via the ACID legal hotline, Mark immediately called Hosea Haag of Hammonds Munich IP department. As the fair continued over the weekend, Hosea worked with Creative Tops to gather further information and instructions and to write and finalise required court briefs and affidavits. Creative Tops issued an oral warning to Peter Hunt and asked that he sign cease and desist undertakings. He refused to do so and Creative Tops instructed Hammonds to take court action. Hosea Haag obtained a preliminary injunction from the Frankfurt court, ordering GeOlivia, Peter Hunt and Katy Hackney not to distribute and display their catalogue in Germany as long as it contained pictures based on certain CAD shapes.
The preliminary injunction was issued on the basis of Hosea’s brief – none of GeOlivia, Peter Hunt or Katy Hackney were heard, nor did they submit any written statements to the Court. While the preliminary injunction is not a final decision under German law, it was served at the fair on Tuesday 12 February. Mark Heritage of Hammonds said, ‘As far as we are aware, the preliminary injunction stopped infringing activity at the fair. Creative Tops also received an apology’.
ACID CEO Dids Macdonald said, ‘One of the benefits of having ACID Accredited Lawyers like Hammonds with a global signature is the ease with which ACID members can take action in other countries. Coupled with much easier access to the judicial system in Germany, this really does mean that ACID members can rely on total support should they require it’.
Pat Dawson, Creative Tops MD said, ‘I was really surprised and delighted that Hosea Haag was prepared to work with me over the weekend to help us achieve our objectives. I think our action delivers a very clear message to all within our sector about our anti copying IP strategy’.