Supreme Court dismiss appeal in Karen Millen v Dunnes Stores – Community Design Rights

Following up on our post in June this year on the CJEU decision (Karen Millen Fashions Ltd v Dunnes Stores, Dunnes Stores (Limerick) Ltd) in relation to how the so-called “individual character” of a design is to be assessed, the legal skirmish between the parties is now over after almost six years.

The Supreme Court of Ireland has rejected Dunnes Stores’ appeal which asserted that Karen Millen Fashions is not the holder of Unregistered Community Designs for the contested garments on the grounds that the garments do not possess individual character.  The written decision of the Supreme Court is still awaited.

Whilst this decision is pleasing for brand owners that create but do not register their designs, the length of time it took to finally resolve this case is undesirable.  Now that the new Irish Court of Appeal is beginning its work, we hope that such long delays will be avoided in future.

Yvonne McKeown & Isabel Meenan

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