What happened in the last Community Design case in the UK?
A case regarding “ballet flats” is likely the last time in which a UK court will sit as a Community Design Court, and the judgment was handed down expeditiously given the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020.
The case involved registered Community designs (RCDs) and unregistered Community designs (UCDs), and issues of both validity and infringement.
Deputy High Court Judge David Stone found:
both the registered and unregistered design to be valid as they produced a different overall impression on the informed user compared to the prior art.
Only the RCD was infringed by the defendant’s “Pointy Flat” shoe.
The case is Rothy's Inc v Giesswein Walkwaren AG.
This case marks the end of an era as UK courts will no longer rule on EU-wide design rights after 31 December 2020. It is truly the end of an era.