Company sues over Christmas jumpers

Zatori Results Ltd claims online retailer Littlewoods has damaged its business and breached intellectual property rights

An Irish company has brought a High Court action alleging online retailer Littlewoods has infringed its design for a men’s Christmas jumper.

An Irish company has brought a High Court action alleging online retailer Littlewoods has infringed its design for a men’s Christmas jumper.

Thu, Dec 12, 2013, 01:00

An Irish company has brought a High Court action alleging online retailer Littlewoods has infringed its design for a men’s Christmas jumper.

Mr Justice Seán Ryan said he would deal with the matter next week, having established the jumper at issue “is not like the one I bought on Sunday”.

Zatori Results Ltd, which employs 87 people, claims Littlewoods has damaged its business and breached its intellectual property rights by offering for sale a Christmas jumper with an almost identical design to one first offered for sale by Zatori in 2012.

Zatori says its design includes a snowman in the middle of the jumper with stars surrounding it and including a moon and sleigh.

Its design also features two Christmas trees on either side of the snowman, set against a navy blue background.

The company claims a jumper for sale on various websites is almost identical to its jumper.
Zatori, based at the National Enterprise Park in Portlaoise, claims that, as a result of the defendant’s actions, its sales of Christmas jumpers are down 75 per cent from last year.

Founded by businessman Ronan O’Brien, Zatori has initiated High Court proceedings against Shop Direct Ireland Ltd, trading as Littlewoods Ireland, and its UK-based parent Shop Direct UK Ltd.

It is seeking an injunction preventing the defendant continuing to offer the jumper for sale.

It is also claiming damages for alleged infringement of its unregistered design rights in regard to the Zatori jumper.

Yesterday, Mr Justice Ryan granted leave to serve short notice of the proceedings on the defendants and returned the matter to early next week.

In an affidavit, Mr O’Brien said he had, in March 2012, designed a men’s Christmas jumper.

The jumper, sold through its website clothing.ie, was a huge success in 2012 and was one of the top-selling Christmas jumpers on Amazon.co.uk.

He had noticed on the defendants websites last month they had started selling a Christmas jumper “almost identical” to the jumper he had designed, he said. It appeared the features of the Zatori jumper were copied with some slight differences.

He said the defendant’s garment was made of an inferior material, did not include the moon and sleigh and had apparently been selling very well. Zatori had had to lower the price of its jumper in order to compete, he added.

Zatori’s lawyers had entered into correspondence with the defendants about the alleged infringement but, despite being told his complaint was being investigated, the defendants had offered no satisfactory response or undertaken to desist offering the offending garment for sale on its websites.

Irish Times News



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