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Kuits advises Character World on out of court settlement in trademark case

20 Jul 2016

Kuits has advised licensing business Character World on the agreement of an out of court settlement with a Birmingham textile business accused of copying its products, infringing its intellectual property.

The case reached settlement one week before it was due to be heard in the High Court of Justice. As a result, Cheadle headquartered Character World will be paid a substantial undisclosed sum covering legal costs and compensation by the main Defendant, Haji Ismail and Sons Limited trading as HIS Textiles.

The case relates to bedding products featuring Frozen imagery. Character World, which is backed by Palatine Private Equity, has an exclusive licence from Disney to produce Frozen bedding products and supply retailers across the UK. Frozen is one of Disney’s hottest properties and the Oscar winning movie remains the highest grossing animated film of all time.

Birmingham based textile business, HIS Textiles was accused of importing and supplying counterfeit duvet cover sets featuring Frozen imagery and passing them off as being made by Character World. They even replicated the Character World logo on the packaging, which infringed Character World’s registered trade marks.

As part of the settlement, HIS Textiles will make a substantial payment to Character World and consented to judgment against them with a wide injunction that in future it would not infringe the intellectual property rights or trade marks of Character World or pass off any of its products as authentic Character World products.

Ian Morris, head of intellectual property at Kuits, said: “The damage caused to legitimate business by counterfeiting cannot be underestimated. In this case there was a total denial of involvement by the main Defendants but the persistence of the clients and our team uncovered evidence which made it improbable that the defence could have any prospects of success.  We believe that this directly led to judgment at the end of the day.”

Mark Schweiger, joint managing director of Character World, said: “We have built up a reputation over the past two decades for producing high quality products and supplying retailers across the globe. We will take any steps necessary to protect our name and that of the brands that entrust us with their properties.  We have always believed in doing business fairly and I’m pleased that this case is now closed and a satisfactory conclusion reached.”

Established in 1998, Character World is the UK’s number one licensed bedding and accessories company. It works with some of the world’s biggest brands including Disney, Marvel, Lego, DC Comics, Peppa Pig and Star Wars and supplies retailers across Europe.

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