Plaid day for Clitheroe fabric shop over 'copied' tartan
4:00pm Tuesday 9th October 2012 in News
A CLITHEROE fabric shop has lost out in a High Court battle over design copyright.
Art of the Loom, based in Ribblesdale Avenue, Clitheroe, was one of the best customers of the Yorkshire woollen mill Abraham Moon and Sons Limited, which produces for designer brands such as Ralph Lauren and Burberry, the court heard.
One of Abraham Moon’s designs is called “Skye Sage” – a large plaid pattern in muted light brown, purple and grey shades.
The company took court action after spotting Art of the Loom selling a similar design called “Spring Meadow”, woven by Huddersfield-based NB Fabrics Ltd.
At London's High Court, Judge Colin Birss QC opened the way for Abraham Moon to seek compensation for breach of its copyright when he ruled that “Skye Sage” was ‘a product of considerable artistic skill’ and that “Spring Meadow” was a copy.
He said that the pattern of lines and blocks of colour in the two fabrics was “virtually identical” and, whilst the colours used were not exactly the same, they were “very similar”.
Art of the Loom partners - Andrew and Stephen Thornber, Andrew Slipper and Susan Munns – were found liable.
The judge said that they must have known or had reason to believe that “Spring Meadow” was an ‘infringing copy’ of Abraham Moon's original design.
Dismissing claims that “Spring Meadow” was designed independently of “Skye Sage”, the judge also ruled against NB Fabrics Limited, concluding: “I find that all the defendants are liable for infringement of copyright”.
The decision opens the way for Abraham Moon to seek damages for the infringement of its copyright or an account of the profits made by the defendants from manufacturing and selling “Spring Meadow”.