No intellectual property without “originality
On 23 June 2021, the Court of Cassation ruled on a case involving infringement and unfair competition (Cass Com, 23 June 2021, No. 19-18111). This is an opportunity to recall the requirement of originality, the controls to be carried out and the links between these two concepts.
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Lalique sued Habitat for infringement and unfair and parasitic competition for a line of stemmed glasses deemed too similar to a Lalique wine glass.
The impression of quasi-identity that emerged from the comparison did not exempt the judges from verifying, as the point was disputed, whether Lalique’s creation was original.
Protection extends to any design that does not produce a different overall visual impression on the informed observer. But if the designs relate to a wine glass, it is the impression produced by the wine glass that must be referred to. (Art. L. 513-5 of the Intellectual Property Code and 10 of Regulation (EC) No. 6/2002 of 12 December 2001 on Community designs).
The quashing of a judgment is in principle limited to the scope of the plea which constitutes the basis for the quashing. Except in the case of indivisibility or – as is the case here in relation to acts of infringement and unfair competition – “necessary dependence”. (Article 624 of the Code of Civil Procedure).