0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

design right contempt referral serves as honest reminder

4 June 2013

The recent case of Utopia Tableware Ltd v BBP Marketing Ltd & Another concerned a fairly straightforward argument of infringement. Utopia makes and sells ‘Aspen’ beer glasses and BBP launched a very similar design in its new ‘Aspire’ range. Utopia accordingly filed for an injunction in the Patents County Court to stop BBP selling its Aspire products.

The injunction was allowed, but it later transpired that some of Utopia’s injunction evidence was fabricated. Two directors of Utopia tampered with emails, signed false witness statements and repeated lies in further statements. Despite BBP later admitting to copying the Utopia design, the court directed the Attorney General to consider the criminal charge of contempt of court. This is highly rare in IP cases, but Birss J felt that Utopia’s dishonesty was such that it amounted to serious contempt.

It goes without saying that you should never lie before the court, but Utopia is a stark reminder of just how important this is for any client.

related opinions

Sky’s overly broad trade marks narrowed as found partially invalid for bad faith

Lord Justice Arnold has applied the guidance of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to the evidence before him, in the long standing trade mark dispute between Sky and Skykick.

View blog

Supreme Court awards compensation to a Professor for an invention created during his employment

A recent decision by the Supreme Court in Shanks v Unilever PLC has supported the right for employees to receive compensation for patented inventions if the invention is of ‘outstanding benefit’.

View blog

High Court finds against WASPI women

The High Court has rejected the judicial review claim brought by the campaign group BackTo60 against the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

View blog

SFO fail to secure individual criminal convictions following Deferred Prosecution Agreement

On 16 July 2019 the Serious Fraud Office released details of the Deferred Prosecution Agreement reached with Sarclad Ltd in July 2016.

View blog

mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up