This article featured in Intellectual Property Magazine
Wednesday 02 February
by Khurram Aziz – News Editor

SuperGroup, maker of the SuperDry brand of clothing, has won a design rights case at the UK High Court against Rhodi a fashion group that makes the VOI range of jeans.

The judgment was regarding a “lumberjack” style shirt with an attached hood. SuperGroup had registered the design of the hooded shirt, which was uncontested by Rhodi.

Simon Bennett, of the law firm Fox Williams, fought the case on behalf of SuperGroup.

“SuperGroup has grown quickly as a company over the past year, and has a unique style which a lot of companies have sought to emulate”, said Bennett.

“Registered designs, unlike copyright, are easy to defend, and for SuperGroup it is a very important element of their business”.

SuperGroup has been proactive in defending its design rights and copyright, with almost 100 IP disputes worldwide in countries such as New Zealand, Japan, Argentina, the US and Canada.

However, it hasn’t always proven easy for fashion designers to protect their designs. Recently, Tesco advertised the release of a dress which was based on the dress worn by Kate Middleton when she announced her engagement to Prince William.

“These companies make a business out of copying designs, which are not easy to prove if the designs are not registered. And for companies such as Tesco, it’s more financially beneficial for them to sell the dresses and then reach any sort of settlement with a small company which files a complaint after the fact”.

Rhodi was ordered to pay SuperGroup £45,000, to stop selling the shirts in question and to surrender all remaining stock of the infringing product. The company was not available to comment on the case.

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