watch protected by copyright

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watch protected by copyright

Post by koimaster » November 27th 2020, 4:11pm

Watch out! Patent and Market Court of Appeal finds watch protected by copyright
Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab
European Union, Sweden May 27 2019
Introduction

For the first time, the Patent and Market Court of Appeal has found a watch protected by copyright as a work of applied art and called time on an infringing watch. The court reached its decision by applying European Court of Justice (ECJ) case law on the harmonised copyright concepts of work and originality, concluding that that the time had come for the Swedish courts to assess such concepts based on applicable EU case law, rather than outdated Swedish case law (PMT 5885-18).

Facts

In November 2016 a retailer imported and launched a minimalistic watch with a nato strap available in several colours on the Swedish market. In all material respects, the watch case and the strap pattern and colour options of the nato strap were identical to an international bestselling model from leading Swedish watch manufacturer Daniel Wellington.

Daniel Wellington sued for copyright infringement. The retailer contested the claim and invoked a substantial amount of prior art, arguing that the watch did not constitute a work of applied art protected by copyright as it merely constituted a simple combination of previously known design elements of watches.

Relying heavily on the prior art invoked and by reasoning that the watch design was based on simple variations of previously known design elements and thus lacked originality, the court of first instance denied the watch copyright protection as a work of applied art.

The case was appealed to the Patent and Market Court of Appeal.

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