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Rejection of infringement of design rights in baby bath leaves Shnuggle feeling blue

Date: 18 February 2020


In this dispute relating to design rights in baby baths, the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC) has rejected claims for infringement of two registered Community designs (RCDs) and various unregistered UK design rights (UDRs) related to the Shnuggle baby bath (“the Shnuggle Designs”).


The claimant, Shnuggle Ltd, alleged that its design rights had been infringed by the defendant Munchkin Inc’s rival “Sit & Soak” bath. However, Her Honour Judge Melissa Clarke held that the Sit & Soak bath gave a different overall visual impression to the RCDs (one of which she found to be invalid).


Although it was clear that Munchkin had the claimant’s design in mind during the design process – the designer of the Sit & Soak had even described his objective as “aiming for a Shnuggle inspired design with some added Munchkin flair and features” – the judge found that Munchkin had not copied or substantially reproduced the whole of the protected design, and so the claim for infringement of the UDRs also failed.


Case link: Shnuggle Ltd v Munchkin Inc 


Our full article has been published in the Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice: Volume 15, Issue 4, April 2020, Pages 241–244