Cool result for ‘Ice Bag’
Posted: 8th August 2012
The novelty and ‘individual character’ of a best-selling wine bottle carrier have been recognised by a judge who found that its registered community design had been infringed by a rival product.
The ‘Ice Bag’ – which is in effect an ice bucket in the form of a bag – has enjoyed huge success worldwide and its design is protected by Community Registered Design Number 616057 – 0001 which is owned by Gimex International Groupe Import Export (Gimex).
At the Patents County Court, Gimex sued five defendants who it argued were ‘one way or another’ responsible for infringing the product’s registered design through the marketing of another bottle holder which bears the brand name ‘Chill Bag’.
The defendants denied any infringement and argued that the registration of the Ice Bag’s design should be declared invalid on grounds that it lacked the individual character and novelty required for a valid registration.
Ruling in favour of Gimex, however, Judge Colin Birss QC said that the Ice Bag’s design is indeed novel and that an ‘informed user’ of the product would appreciate its individual character.
The design of the Chill Bag was ‘virtually identical’ to that of the Ice Bag. The only differences between the two products that were capable of being significant were the absence of a slot for a business card on the Chill Bag and the presence of a coaster slot on its base.
Opening the way for Gimex to pursue claims for compensation and other relief from the defendants, Judge Birss concluded: ‘The Gimex registered design is valid and the Chill Bag product infringes it.’