Paris First Instance Court - TMS v/ MSR
Copyright, Competition law
Paris First Instance Court
TMS v/ MSR
TECHNIC MANUTENTION SERVICES and Mr Gilles MAUMUS were represented by Arnaud CASALONGA, Attorney at Law.
The Court of First Instance grants their claims for infringement and unfair competition.
The company MULTI SERVICES ROLLS had included on its sales site the photograph of a model of a folding pallet box made of metal wire for the transport and storage of 600 bottles of Bordeaux reproducing without authorization the characteristics of a French model registered at the INPI by Mr Gilles MAUMUS its creator and operated under exclusive license by the company TECHNIC MANUTENTION SERVICES.
The defendant, a direct competitor, claimed that this photograph had been used in error on its site for several months but that the model in question had not been commercialized.
Since the plaintiffs’ model was filed before the order of 19 July 2000 under the law of 1 July 1992, the Court rightly considers that its validity is subject to the former Article L 551-1 of the Intellectual Property Code.
The Court points out in that regard that the right arises from creation and not from filing, so that the prior art opposed by the defendant between the date of creation of the design in 1983 and its filing in 2000 is considered inadmissible, while prior art prior to 1983 is rejected for failure to reproduce the combination of the characteristics of the design as claimed in the copyright.
The validity of the design as a novelty is therefore recognised and the Court also rejects the functional character of the design by holding that the combination of its characteristics confers on it a new physiognomy making it protectable by design law within the meaning of the former Article L-511-1 of the Intellectual Property Code.
The slavish copy of the model is also considered to constitute parasitic competition to the detriment of TECHNIC MANUTENTION SERVICES, which is the exclusive distributor and licensee of the model.
The judgment is final and without appeal.