Is the glass half empty or half full?

No doubt that revolutionary design will be copied. The question whether the well-known Bodum glasses (left) are revolutionary is the subject of a court action in the Netherlands (and a cancellation action with the Ohim). The alleged copycat Ten Berg (glass under) stresses that the glass of Bodum consists of basic shapes. The double sides of the glass have only a technical function and are therefore not protected according copyright and design law.

The court agrees with Ten Berg, every design element of the glass like the smooth top of the glasses have a merely functional character. Therefore no copyright infringement as the overall impression (consisting of a different basic form) differs.

Bodum has registered the glasses also as European design. Against these design registrations a cancellation action has been filed. This is the reason for the court to suspend the allegations of infringement of the designs upon the decision of the Ohim in the cancellation action. Nevertheless, the court gives a preliminary injunction for one of the glasses, so Bodum remains, at least for now, not without total empty hands.

Source: (in Dutch)

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Arnaud Bos

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