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Thursday, 14 December 2006

News flash: Febreze beats Air Wick

News flash: Febreze routs Air Wick

Mr Justice Lewison ruled yesterday in Procter & Gamble v Reckitt Benckiser [2006] EWHC 3154 (Ch) (available here on BAILII) that the packaging of Reckitt Benckiser's Air Wick Odour Stop infringed Procter & Gamble's validly-registered Community design for the packaging of Febreze (a custom-designed canister surmounted by a trigger within a housing). Comment to follow, either late today or some time tomorrow).


Filemot said...

Now Jeremy will you reconsider your view that registered designs are not powerful rights in the lookalike market? Remember too that Gowers was quite satisfied that the design law worked. It is a shame that the decision does not include pictures of the prior art, but the infringement certainly created the same overall impression on me as the design registration

Jeremy said...

I have reconsidered my position, which is that I was right before and I'm still right.

A mousetrap is a powerful weapon too - but only against the mouse that walks straight into it. Reckitts could have hardly copied more of the Febreze design if they tried - but they could have copied a good deal less, still producing a plausible lookalike while not infringing the design as registered.

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