Karen Millen Fashions CJEU Case Nears Conclusion

June 2014

This Thursday will see the conclusion of a court case which has rumbled on for nearly eight years, as the CJEU decision in Karen Millen Fashions Case C-345/13 will be published.

Karen Millen launched proceedings against Irish retailer Dunnes Stores in January 2007 alleging infringement of Community Unregistered Design Rights in a black knit jumper and two striped shirts in blue and brown. The case has proceeded through the Irish courts, with the Irish Supreme Court last year referring the matter to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) for guidance.   

Earlier this year, the Advocate General’s opinion was in favour of Karen Millen finding, in particular, that a combination of design elements which in themselves may not be distinctive and have individual character, can if brought together for the first time be considered a distinctive and protectable design. 

 History suggests that the decision will follow the general guidelines laid down in the Advocate General's Opinion, but time alone will tell.