The Federal Court of Australia has found that Spotlight has infringed the intellectual property rights in three separate artistic works owned by Bed Bath N' Table's parent company The Dempsey Group.


The textiles retailer is owned and operated by Spotlight Group Holdings, also owner of adventure apparel retailer Anaconda.


Spotlight was found by the court to have offered for sale and sold in Australia through its retail outlets, three bed linen products which reproduced a substantial part of original artworks designed in-house at Bed Bath N' Table.


The Rimona, Bosphorus and Constantinople artworks from Bed Bath N' Table's in-house brand Morgan & Finch were found to have been reproduced by Spotlight.


The court has ordered Spotlight to pay damages to The Dempsey Group for lost profits as well as reputational damage.


The court finding stated:


“I accept that Dempsey Group has a reputation in the Australian bed linen market based in part on its original designs and that originality is a distinctive feature of its [Morgan & Finch] brand.


“I also accept that it is likely that some damage to its reputation was suffered from the loss of exclusivity of the designs under the Morgan & Finch brand appearing in the inferior quality of the Spotlight products.”


The infringing products were destroyed on behalf of Spotlight under a controlled destruction process before the trial commenced.


Bed Bath N' Table owner and CEO Jonathan Dempsey said the retailer was happy with the final decision.


“We are pleased there was a clear decision handed down by the Federal Court.


“The copy of our intellectual property will not be tolerated.


“We consider these types of infringements as serious breaches of law and as such will continue to defend our intellectual property when and wherever we see any infringement occurring.


“Over the last five years Bed Bath N' Table has taken action against many companies in Australia, U.K., Germany and Canada, where resolutions were obtained without the need for a court hearing however in this instance we were compelled to go to trial and obtain a public court decision to protect Bed Bath N' Table's intellectual property rights.”

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