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Designer Guild v Russell Williams

[1998] F.S.R. 803

Case summary last updated at 29/01/2020 17:31 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Designer Guild v Russell Williams

C owned copyright in a painting from which it produced a fabric design – design was stripes with flowers on top of it. C complained that D had infringed copyright in its painting through copying the fabric design in D’s own fabric design.
D claimed he was not aware of C’s design, though there was evidence D had attended trade show at which C’s design was displayed. Held:
 
·       There was infringement.
·        Whether substantial part of artistic work has been taken depends upon cumulative effectof copied features.
Ø  And NOT upon whether each feature has in isolation been substantially copied.
·        Ifsimilarities between two works are sufficient to raise inference of copying, those similarities will normally satisfy requirement of substantiality.
·       See notes.

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