Ikea takes court case over sale of similar prints


A PRINT featuring what was described as the “modern interpretation of a heart” is among a number of prints at the centre of court proceedings brought by home furnishings giant Ikea.

The Swedish company has alleged breach of its trademarks in various prints and “passing off” in its action against Ogalas Ltd, trading as Homestore More, with registered offices at Ballymount Drive, Dublin and ETG Ltd, trading as the European Textile Group, with registered offices at Londonbridge Road, Sandymount, Dublin.

It is claimed the disputed prints were purchased by Homestore from ETG, were identical to prints sold by Ikea and were sold in Homestore stores across the country.

When the case came before the Commercial Court yesterday, Mr Justice Peter Kelly was presented with one of the prints at issue which featured a large heart. Some cardio-vascular surgeons would be interested to know this “is the plumbing of the modern heart”, he said.

In its claim, Inter Ikea Systems BV, owner of all intellectual property rights associated with the Ikea name, alleges it became aware last September that prints being sold in Homestore stores at “a considerably lower price” than in Ikea stores were goods infringing Ikea’s trademark and amounted to “passing off”.

Ikea claimed it had acquired 19,013 prints identical to prints being manufactured for, and sold by Ikea, in its stores.

The alleged infringing goods were being sold in Ikea’s packaging and incorporate the Swedish company’s marks and other details used by Ikea to identify its products, it was claimed.

Yesterday, the judge was told by Michael Howard SC, for Ikea, the proceedings could be transferred on consent to the Commercial Court. The case against Homestore More had been settled, he said. An undertaking to recall the complained of products was also provided.

Cian Ferriter SC, for ETG, said his client wanted an adjournment for a week and would provide a number of undertakings.

The judge agreed to adjourn the case for a week.