Fairfull tileWithin a week of a cease and desist letter being sent to Skye Tiles by Fairfull Ltd., Skye Tiles have agreed to provide undertakings to deliver up any remaining stock of look alike tiles, make a payment of damages calculated in respect of the number of tiles sold and make payment of Fairfull’s legal costs in pursuing an alleged infringement on behalf of Benaya Art Ceramics for whom they are distributors in the UK.

ACID members Fairfull Limited use the Canadian company, Benaya Art Ceramics, to produce a number of their ceramic range. They also act as UK agents for Benaya and many of Benaya’s designs are exclusive to Fairfull.  Artist Patricia Bell has copyright in the artwork on the tiles as an artistic work. When Fairfull discovered that Skye Tiles were selling what appeared to be copies they decided, with Benaya’s permission, to take legal action as a precaution against potential lost sales as the exclusive distributor of Benaya’s products.

Fairfull tile 2Fairfull instructed ACID accredited law firm McDaniel & Co at the Autumn Fair in September 2010, who advised them that the first step was to write a cease and desist letter to Skye Tiles putting them on notice of the infringement and requesting undertakings. Although Fairfull would be alleging infringement of copyright (an unregistered right and therefore requires proof of copying), the tiles offered by Skye Tiles were identical to those of Fairfull and therefore the only reasonable assumption was that copying had taken place. It was then incumbent on Skye Tiles to provide an innocent explanation as to why they were selling identical tiles.

Andrew Lee of McDaniel & Co comments: “Fairfull were determined to protect their market and because of their relationship with Benaya they also needed to take quick action against any copies of Benaya’s artwork. This again shows how effective a cease and desist letter can be and Fairfull ensured they had one prepared as soon as they were aware of the infringement. This is one part of an effective IP protection strategy in ensuring potential infringements are followed up immediately.”

Dids Macdonald, ACID’s CEO said, “A compelling cease and desist letter often produces a quick and effective result in an IP dispute at a fraction of the cost of taking Court action. It is also a very speedy means by which a business can reinforce its IP strategy to a competitor.”

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