Shower manufacturer Kohler Mira has been awarded over £200,000 in damages and costs from the Bristan group, following infringement of Mira’s unregistered designs.
Although the Judgement that Bristan Group copied the design of Mira’s Azora electric shower with its Glee, Joy and Smile products was originally delivered in 2013, the parties had been unable to reach a negotiated settlement. As a result, a damages hearing took place in April with the decision released on Friday, June 13.
At the original hearing, His Honour Judge Birss QC of the Patents County Court found that the similarities which existed between the three Bristan products and the Mira Azora arose “because of copying”.
Although Bristan did not infringe registered design rights, it was found to have infringed the remaining unregistered design rights.
Marketing director of Mira Showers, Craig Baker said that no-one should underestimate the vigour with which Kohler Mira will protect its designs and challenge those who infringe them.
“As industry leader in innovation, we cannot and will not allow our investments to be misappropriated through infringement. We are rightly proud of our status as the UK’s largest investor in R&D in the shower sector; and consequently, we shall never hesitate to enforce our intellectual property rights in our markets”.
Speaking at the time of the Judgement, Jeremy Ling, CEO of Bristan Group, said: “Bristan Group respects all design and Intellectual Property (IP) rights and our employees are required to adhere to the highest ethical standards.
“We take the integrity of original product design very seriously and this has been vindicated in the judge’s ruling that our designer did not copy the design of Azora, that our products do not infringe registered designs and that we can continue to sell our Smile, Glee and Joy products.”
This is the second time Kohler Mira has successfully asserted its intellectual property rights relating to Azora. The last occasion was in 2010 when it reached an out-of-court settlement with Triton.
That settlement required Triton to withdraw all versions – whether proprietarily or own-branded for retailers – of its Inscriptions shower from the market and make good Mira’s legal costs.