In the case of Uwug Ltd and another v Derek Ball t/a RED  EWPCC 35 (30 July 2013) the patents county court heard a claim for infringement of design right in a metal frame and parts of a leather sling. This is rather unassuming at first but the infringement related to a sex swing for use in bondage activities.
It was held the shape and configuration of the parts of the sling were original within the meaning of section 213 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and were not excluded by the “must fit” exception under section 213(3)(b)(i) of the Act. This is because aspects such as the angles of attachment, distances between the straps, and other elements, were not dictated by the need to fit the user and they did not connect with the user in any way. However, the claimant did not own the design right since there was no evidence that the designer was an employee of the claimant when he made the design, nor that he ever assigned it to the claimant. In the event the claimant been the owner, it would have succeeded in its claim.
In respect of the metal frame that the claimant had registered the design the evidence showed the claimant had commissioned the defendant to create the design in return for payment. This means the right to register the design belonged to the claimant. The court went on to find that the frame design had been infringed.
Who would have thought intellectual property could be so naughty?
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