Danish court rules on similar-looking storage boxes case

On 22 October 2018, the Danish Eastern High Court delivered its ruling in a case involving Nordic household product makers Orthex Sweden AB and Plast Team AS of Denmark.

Orthex Sweden AB produces a range of plastic storage boxes called SmartStore. Plast Team A/S launched a series of similar-looking storage boxes called TopStore, which appeared in all relevant aspects to be a close copy of Orthex Sweden AB’s line of products.

In deciding the case, the court held that the SmartStore boxes possessed aesthetic and design characteristics that were capable of being protected under the Danish Marketing Act, but for which no copyright protection was available.

The TopStore series of storage boxes was found to be a slavish copy of SmartStore, which during the trial a court expert had confirmed.

Additional key points leading to the decision for Orthex Sweden AB include the lack of an own visual identity for TopStore, the similarity and choice of sizes as well as the use of the word ‘Store’ in the product name.

As a result, Plast Team A/S was prohibited from producing, marketing, selling, importing and exporting the TopStore series. They were also compelled to recall and destroy boxes already delivered to retailers. Further, Orthex Sweden AB was awarded undisclosed damages for the infringement.

Sweden’s AWA law firm represented the claimaints who successfully protected the rights of their bestselling product.

The full verdict in Danish can be found here.