At the end of May, Hornschuch, at the interzum trade fair in Cologne, successfully took action against a copycat of its design Sonoma Oak, which is used on furniture film.

The surface specialist obtained an interim injunction from the 22nd chamber of the District Court of Warsaw, which prohibited the Polish seller of the copied design from conducting any commerce with the copy. This decision was in effect for the area of the entire EU.

Immediately after this, the police confiscated goods and marketing material from the booth of the seller at interzum as a seizure measure in parallel with German criminal proceedings. The criminal proceedings, which were initiated against the person in the trade fair booth, have since been discontinued, as the district attorney was unable to conclusively establish the responsibility of this person, who was working at the trade fair booth for the exhibitor.

Two days after the confiscation at the trade fair interzum, however, warehouses of the seller were searched on the basis of the interim injunction and several thousand metres of goods with the copied design were seized. National and international branch media reported on the event. So far, so good.

Subsequently however, the opposing party obtained a suspension of the interim injunction upon which these actions were based. This suspension was initially granted without checking the plagiarism issue, meaning that the Polish seller was allowed to resume selling the design Sonoma Oak in the meantime with impunity. But only until the beginning of August.

Because the interim injunction was confirmed by the Warsaw Appellate Court/Civil Chamber in its decision from 6th August, 2013. In it, the Appellate Court expressly stated that the design Sonoma Oak differs sufficiently from other wood designs to constitute a unique innovation. The injunction has been in effect again since that time.

As a result, the Polish provider was once again forced to cease marketing and selling the furniture film of the design Sonoma Oak immediately. He may no longer sell the design, to which Schattdecor and Hornschuch hold the rights. “If that happens, we will once again combat the copying of our designs with all of the legal means at our disposal,” says Lothar Machule, chief sales officer at Hornschuch. A violation would definitely have criminal consequences. Parallel to the interim injunction, Hornschuch also submitted a suit in the main action, on which the 22nd chamber of the District Court of Warsaw will make a decision. “In this way, we not only protect our rights but also the legitimate interests of our clients,” Lothar continues.

Hornschuch advises its customers not to purchase the design from doubtful sources. Once again, Lothar Machule states: “In order to ensure that the product is not a copy, we simply recommend ordering our skai Sonoma Oak. Then, nothing can happen. The design is available in all colours off the shelf. Thus, customers can be sure that they utilise the original with all premium characteristics, which are typical for skai.”

Hornschuch knows that not only its partner in the Dekorverbund (decor association), in this case Schattdecor, is on its side. The film expert also asks its customers to join the company in actively countering copycats. If they are offered the design Sonoma Oak from doubtful sources, the surface specialist advises customers to inform the appropriate contact partners at Hornschuch.

On its homepage, Hornschuch also calls for action against copycats under the topic of design patent protection. And the first copycat learned this year that Hornschuch will not hesitate to show the red card to product pirates and actually have unauthorised designs removed from the market by court order.

A bestseller in oak: design copycats also want to profit from the successful design of skai Sonoma. Following the serving of a judicial injunction order, goods were seized by an officer of the court in the warehouse at a Polish provider

The design copycat is caught during the police raid at interzum. A court order led to the copied design Sonoma Oak being removed from the booth