Genuine JayJays Ltd

Putting a muzzle on a copied product design

Genuine JayJays Ltd is a UK-based manufacturer of military and load-bearing equipment, such as army webbing and Bergan rucksacks. We’ve worked with the company since 2014 to provide advice on patents and designs. Its product line included a dog-handler vest for military dog trainers. Although such vests are well-known, Genuine JayJays produced a vest with specific design features which aren’t found elsewhere, making the product technically and aesthetically unique.

Case Study

Case Type

Unregistered design infringement

Action

Issued infringement proceedings

Outcome

Removal of the infringing design

Dr Alan Jones

By Dr Alan Jones

Partner

Issue:

It came to our client’s attention that an identically-designed vest was being sold to its customers in direct competition. At the time, the Genuine JayJays dog-handler vest wasn’t protected by any registered IP rights. We were therefore asked to review the matter and advise our client whether there were any steps that could be taken to remove the copied vests from the market — protecting the business from lost sales and any reputational damage that may have occurred if the copied vests were found to be technically defective.

Action:

We reviewed the history of the case and were able to establish that Genuine JayJays was eligible for UK unregistered design rights. These arise automatically when a design is created and last ten years from the date the design is first marketed. Based on these rights, we were able to establish a claim for unregistered design right infringement. Subsequently, Genuine JayJays withdrew its own product from sale for commercial reasons but remained keen to remove the copied product from the market. Because our client was no longer generating revenue from the vest, we worked to dispose of the claim in the most cost-effective manner possible.

Outcome:

In order to force the matter to a conclusion, it became necessary to formally issue a claim for infringement. However, by negotiating directly with the other side on Genuine JayJays’ behalf and providing pragmatic advice as to how far the claim should be pushed, we were able to bring the case to an early conclusion and remove the infringing design from the market without significant additional expense to our client. Our approach also limited the expense incurred by the other side, and as a result we were able to more readily recover a contribution to our client’s costs from the infringing company.

Is your product design being infringed?

Get in touch with Alan Jones at daj@udl.co.uk.

029 2064 2150

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