Beyond BERLUTI strict design protection?
On February 14, 2007, the First Degree Court of Paris, granted 90.000 euros to BERLUTTI as an award of costs for design infringement.
Under French practice granting author’s right protection to original designs, the judge further allowed 30.000 euros for author’s right infringement.
Lastly, The Court condemned to 75.000 euros for unfair competition based on (i) the reproduction of innovative fashion signs first launched on the market by BERLUTTI, (ii) the offer at a lower price of shoes counterfeiting BERLUTI designs and (iii) the indication on the infringer’s web site of his willingness to gravitate around BERLUTI.
The author’s right and unfair competition grounds consequently represent the biggest part of the total award of costs. This shows the interest of enlarging the grounds of the claim when the question concerns design infringement. It also shows the interest of holding registrations to order to increase the amount of damages requested under the design protection since, in this case, BERLUTI held one Community registered design and various non-registered designs in France.