Romo Simonii Design

Hot foot from taking enforcement action against Linda Barker on a copyright issue with their Simonii cushion design, ACID (Anti Copying in Design) members Romo Limited, designers of original and exclusive soft furnishings had to tackle a further apparent infringement when they discovered that a fabric called “Merge Flower” (virtually identical to their Simonii design) was being sold though the Hong Kong based company Margaret Muir Limited’s trade catalogue and website. As a result of a letter before action sent by ACID’s Accredited Law firm, Hammonds, both Margaret Muir Limited and Nine Schools (a UK distributor of “Merge Flower” products) gave undertakings to cease sale of any Merge Flower bedding and confirmed that all the stock had been destroyed. Nine Schools also specifically (and reasonably) stated that they would refuse any orders placed as a result of advertisements already placed in the design press.Vic Fairbanks of Romo said, “Following the Linda Barker matter and now this, our message to the market is clear. We have invested heavily in the research, design and development of our product range and will take immediate legal action whenever and wherever we discover look-alikes”.

Dids Macdonald, ACID’s CEO added, “This case highlights the vulnerability of various design publications accepting advertisements without a warranty that advertisers confirm the intellectual probity of the products they are advertising. ACID would like to work positively with publishers to help them put in place measures which could help protect them from unknowingly advertising look-alikes for sale”. Furthermore, she added, “This might be an excellent opportunity to approach consumer magazines to become ACID media supporters raising anti copying issues not only to advertisers but also to consumers who may be unaware that they could be buying look-alikes”.

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