Australia – Mallesons wins Six-Year Legal Battle for Bodum.

 

Aug 8, 2011

 

Mallesons Stephen Jaques has successfully acted for the Bodum Group on a landmark legal battle in the Full Federal Court of Australia regarding a copy of its Chambord coffee plunger. The outcome is possibly the first of its kind in Australia, protecting the distinctive shape and features of Bodum's Chambord coffee plunger design.

 

The Court found that DKSH Australia, which imported and sold a Euroline copy plunger, engaged in passing off and breached the Trade Practices Act, now the Australian Consumer Law. 

 

The Mallesons team was led by intellectual property partner Katrina Rathie who said: "The Court's decision is one of the first in Australia to protect the shape and features of a product from imitation. The judgment is very welcome news for Bodum and Australian designers.  It recognises that Australian courts will protect well known products with attractive design, features and product shapes from copyists in appropriate circumstances even if they use another brand name to try and differentiate their copy." 

 

Ms Rathie added: "Australian businesses should beware of importing or selling imitations of designer products or be ready to face the consequences". 

 

DKSH was ordered to pay Bodum’s legal costs of the Court cases. 

 

The Bodum Chambord Coffee Plunger joins an elite group of products such as the Coca-Cola bottle, Jif Lemon and Henry the vacuum cleaner where Courts in jurisdictions outside Australia have protected the originals against copies of their well recognised shapes.