Danish Supreme Court decision of 30 January 2007 in case 67/2006: Coop Norden and Natex of Scandinavia vs. Bestseller.
In 2003, a Danish fashion manufacturer Bestseller introduced a series of t-shirts of its own design under the brand name Jack & Jones.
During summer 2004 a Danish super market chain made announcements of a range of t-shirts with identical design as the one introduced by Bestseller the summer before but without the brand name Jack & Jones. The t-shirts were bought from a trading company who in turn bought the products from an Indian supplier. Some three weeks after the launching of the sales campaign the fashion manufacturer objected to the sales. Immediately after having received the objections the supermarket chain withdraw the remaining stock of the designer t-shirts from the market and returned the stock at hand to the trading company having supplied the t-shirts. After the return of the t-shirts the trading company sold the remaining stock to a company in Latvia.
In the court proceedings to follow the manufacturer claimed damages from the supermarket chain as well as the trading company.
The Supreme Court found no evidence that neither the trading company nor the super market chain knew or could reasonable be expected to know about the unregistered design rights owned by the fashion manufacturer. For this reason no damages could be claimed. However, the subsequent sale from the trading company to an importer in Latvia caused the Supreme Court to order the trading company to pay compensation as provided for under the Design Act, Art. 37.
Michael H. Svendsen, IDI country expert for Denmark.