Court determines drawn-out shelf conflict

montana_abcThe Danish Supreme Court has acquitted ABC Reoler Aulum for violating Montana Møbler’s rights under copyright law and marketing law.

The case, which has been pending in the Danish legal system since 2005, has been about whether the shelf system ABC Quadrant violated Montana Møbler’s rights to the shelf system Montana by copyright law and marketing law.

The Supreme Court held that Quadrant, in its overall visual impression, could not be considered as a very impertinent imitation of Montana. Thus, there is not a violation to the copyright law.

Furthermore, there was no basis for concluding that there was an unfair market displacement or parasitism against Montana Møbler’s development efforts or the reputation of Montana’s shelving system. It was also not proven that there otherwise was a violation by the Marketing Practices Act.

ABC Reoler: A relief
At ABC Reoler, CEO and owner Søren Iversen is pleased that the aging trial is finally finished: “A lawsuit for nearly 10 years is a huge burden for a small company like ABC Reoler. The case has cost many forces and inflicted heavy costs upon us, and we have lost business because uncertainty has prevailed around Quadrant for so long. Therefore, the judgment is both a relief for ABC and a victory for consumers’ freedom of choice “.

Montana: A threat to innovative Danish design
At Montana, creative director Joakim Lassen is disappointed by the verdict: “We have tried to protect our unique design, but have, unfortunately, not succeeded. Today’s decision by the Supreme Court is especially a defeat of Danish design. The judgment calls into question whether this country can pay to be innovative and creative when other companies can legally make something that just looks like our bookcase design, but with some differences in detail. The judgment makes it harder for us and other design-oriented companies to find money for innovation and development of new design,” Joakim Lassen says.

See the Supreme Court’s decision here. (Danish language only)