Wacky Practicals v Ultimate Products is not a design law dispute as such, but rather an episode in which a regular UK patent came to the aid of a manufacturer whose design had been misappropriated.
ACID members Wacky Practicals, proprietors of UK patent 2416534 for a jar opener, discovered that a nearly identical product was on sale in Homebase, where it was sold under the brand of Ultimate Products. Once objection was raised, Ultimate Products settled quickly, giving an undertaking to refrain from selling the jar opener and paying £2,500 in costs.
This is the second time this month that Homebase has been caught selling infringing products. ACID (which provided the information concerning Wacky v Ultimate) has asked Homebase to sign up to the voluntary ACID Code of Conduct for Retailers, which contains guidelines to help avoid inadvertently infringing designs in the future. It is not yet known whether the retail giant has agreed to do so.
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