Gift House International was found by His Honour Judge Hacon of the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court to have infringed Wow! Stuff’s UK patents and also all three of Wow! Stuff’s Registered Community Designs.
A further hearing has now been listed before the Court on 8 October 2014 regarding costs and the payment of compensation. Wow will then be making donations to charity.
This successful test case will allow Wow! Stuff to pursue other infringers of its IP rights in its Air Swimmers range. The case has been attracting the attention of the UK’s national press including The Times and will be featured on national TV as part of the BBC 1’s “Fake Britain” prime time consumer protection series.
In response to the win Wow! Stuff’s Finance Director and legal counsel, Ewan Gibb, stated as follows: “Gift House International Limited and other infringers have taken money right out of our retailers’ businesses and our company. Toy businesses rely on re-investing profits from hit products to fund further new innovation. We hope this sends a message to anyone thinking of copying other people’s products, inventions or designs that the toy business is no easy target and we will fight for our rights.
Gibb added: “This has been a real team effort. We would like to thank our development team, our patent attorney David Fulton, our lawyer Richard Moore, our partners William Mark Corporation and Blake English, Jeff Rehkemper and our investment partner Britain’s Business Growth Fund for their long term financial support. Also the many toy companies, toy media and inventors who have supported us.
“As we closed in on Gift House International, it then threatened to put itself into insolvency rather than adequately compensate Wow! Stuff for the monies that it had illegally made by infringing our IP rights. Gift House International never carried through this threat. However, it just goes to show the varied tricks that infringers will deploy to escape justice.
“Much of Gift House International’s defence case was in fact dropped just days before trial which proved one more delaying tactic and a further waste of the legal systems time and money. Wow! Stuff will now pursue a large number of other infringers, including Gift House International’s own retailers, now that we have secured this judgment.”
Wow Stuff’s CEO, Richard North commented, “I would have considered old fashioned floggings in public or at least a few dunkings in a river and a spate in the cells but this conviction will do. We felt that we had no option but to pursue Gift House International in respect of its blatant infringement of our rights. Even when placed on express notice of Wow! Stuff’s rights, Gift House International continued to sell infringing product into the market place.