ACID (Anti Copying In Design) members The Monster Factory, creators of funky children’s range the Not So Scary Monsters took issue with NEXT over the appearance of their range of designs for children’s clothing. A robust cease and desist letter from ACID Accredited law firm McDaniel & Co resulted in NEXT denying that they infringed the Monster Factory Designs but withdrawing the range saying, “The products were not successful enough to be carried onto the following season”.
Following the withdrawal of the range, Martin Grix said, “The products were shown in the NEXT catalogue for a significant period of time, sufficient time for our extensive “mystery shopper” research to reveal that, although the products had been withdrawn from their catalogue, they were very much in demand and are still being sold”. Grix continued, “I hope that this is not a deliberate strategy to run with a product for a season and when challenged, especially by an ACID member, they withdraw as a damage limitation exercise, having capitalised on our creativity and innovation in our Monster Factory Designs, for which we have a registered Community design”.
Niall Head-Rapson, an IP expert at McDaniel’s commenting on the case, said, “Clearly the Monster Factory who take their intellectual property seriously enough to obtain a registered Community design in other markets, are going to challenge any look alikes they discover in the market place to protect the investment they have made in the creation of their ranges”.
Dids Macdonald, Chief Executive of ACID said, “As signatories to the ACID Code of Conduct, whilst I note that Next have withdrawn the product range, I will be writing to them immediately voicing the Monster Factory and other ACID members’ concerns and to ask them to reconfirm their ongoing commitment to an anti copying strategy throughout the organisation. My understanding is that despite being asked several times, Next were unable or unwilling to provide evidence of the creation of the remarkably similar product”.
The Monster Factory creates, manufactures and markets a diverse portfolio of new stationery and gift products. We work with innovative artists, rights holders and product specialists to source and then beautifully package quirky new concepts for high-end distribution worldwide.