For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

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Tuesday, 23 December 2003

TIME TO BE AN INFRINGER

The Register reports that i-Desk Solutions, a British company that builds computers into desks, has won an injunction against Time Computers' parent company to prevent the PC supplier from offering a desk-integrated computer of its own. i-desk's injunction was granted last week after the judge, Mr Justice Patten, ruled that the Time Group had "deliberately" and "disgracefully" attempted to copy and pass off its own systems as i-Desk products. The i-desk system, aimed at colleges and businesses, bolts a slimline PC into the desk's metal frame. An LCD monitor is mounted on to the tabletop. Each desk is designed to connect to others, jigsaw-fashion, for greater stability and in the classroom. Patent protection was sought in 1999 but has not yet been granted. The Court ordered the Time Group to pay an initial £200,000 towards i-Desk's legal costs pending a full damages hearing early next year. The judge also ordered Time Computers to provide i-Desk with the names and addresses of all customers who bought its product. This case, under the name Intercase UK Ltd and i-Desk Solutions Ltd v Time Computers Ltd and another, will be reported in full in either the March or May 2004 issue of the European Copyright and Design Reports .

The IPKat notes that, although patent protection was not yet available, i-desk could sue for infringement of its unregistered design right and for passing off. This shows the extent to which intellectual property rights are capable of overlapping with each other. If the European Court of Justice had taken a more liberal line in Linde, i-desk would have been able to register the desk’s shape as a three dimensional trade mark for itself, which would have handed the desk makers a choice of four different species of IP right to sue on in respect of the same infringing acts.

Other (non-infringing) designer desks here and here
Desk toys here, here and here

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