Design right infringement: PulseOn watches Garmin run to victory

07 Mar 2019

The Court of Appeal has found in favour of Garmin in a dispute over the registered design rights of popular exercise watches that incorporate heart monitor tracking. 

PulseOn OY (PulseOn) claimed that Garmin (Europe) Limited (Garmin) infringed its registered design right – a right that protects the appearance, physical shape, configuration and decoration of a design – in relation to one of its heart rate monitor watches. The original claim was decided in favour of Garmin and PulseOn appealed. 

In appealing there were four main grounds of appeal that the court had to consider:

  1. That the arrangement of the LED lights used for heart rate monitoring was not properly considered;
  2. That the judge incorrectly compared PulseOn’s design to enlarged Garmin products;
  3. That undue weight was given to design features that were determined by technical considerations; and
  4. That the judge applied the wrong test for infringement.

All of the above grounds were dismissed by the Court of Appeal. 

The test for infringement is whether the designs create a different overall impression on an informed user and importantly in this case the Court did not feel the need to assess whether the judge applied the wrong test for infringement, reaffirming the current test. 

The decision of the original judge, that Garmin’s designs did not to infringe those of PulseOn, was upheld. 

This case is helpful for design right owners as it maintains the test for infringement that has been well established in case law over many years. 

If you would like to discuss a potential infringement of a design right or if you would like some general advice on design rights, then please contact us for an initial consultation.

Further reading

Tenants take note: dilapidations damages to be subject to VAT

Blog, Legal Updates
19/01/2021
Property expert Cheraine Williams explains why dilapidations could be about to get more expensive
Read more Read

Covid business interruption insurance payments due to small and medium companies

Blog, Legal Updates
19/01/2021
Partner Jonathan Compton looks at the Supreme Court’s decision on business interruption insurance
Read more Read

DMH Stallard’s corporate team shortlisted for four awards

Blog, News & PR
18/01/2021
Current Corporate Law Firm of the Year hoping to hold on to the title in 2021
Read more Read

IP in pole position in 2021

Blog
12/01/2021
Victoria Watt takes a look at a hat trick of car-related cases that concluded last autumn that place IP firmly in the headlights
Read more Read
  • Brighton Office

    1 Jubilee Street

    Brighton

    East Sussex

    BN1 1GE

  • Gatwick Office

    Griffin House

    135 High Street

    Crawley

    West Sussex

    RH10 1DQ

  • Guildford Office

    Wonersh House

    The Guildway

    Old Portsmouth Road

    Guildford

    Surrey

    GU3 1LR

  • Horsham Office

    Ridgeland House

    15 Carfax

    Horsham

    West Sussex

    RH12 1DY

  • London Office

    6 New Street Square

    New Fetter Lane

    London

    EC4A 3BF

  • Get in touch