A victory for original design

Posted on May 11, 2016 by Ross Hines

In recent years, unscrupulous retailers have been selling fake versions of David Trubridge lighting. Due to Australia’s lax copyright laws, they thought they could get away with it and ignored David's many requests to stop.  Well, David took them to court and with the help of the legal team at K & L Gates, he succeeded. At least eight companies who were selling the fakes have stopped. This includes two major national retailers and several dedicated "replica" retailers. At first, several of them ignored our demands to ‘cease and desist’. So we filed proceedings against them at the Federal Court. This showed that we had a case and meant business - it did the trick.

Thousands of replica pendants have been destroyed or taken off the market. And here is the amazing part: David has been able to cover all his legal expenses with the monies paid out in settlement! Because his initial demand was ignored, his costs went up and so did his demands for damages. If they had agreed to settle at the outset it would have cost them a lot less. Many of those to whom he wrote initially argued that because his designs were not registered they were legally entitled to sell copies of them, but K&L Gates put forward a novel argument that countered this claim.

The battle for other local designers is far from over however. The market place is littered with inferior and unethical copies of local designs and this is doing untold damage to the local industry. Each original design we sell at Tongue and Groove has a backstory of the designer's inspiration, often years of product development and craft. The only backstory with a "copy", "replica" or "fake" is THEFT.

 

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