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Office settles with Choo

Footwear retailer Office has paid £7,500 in compensation to Jimmy Choo and destroyed 1,300 pairs of shoes which Jimmy Choo alleged were copies of its metallic framed heel style.
Office did not admit liability in the case and said its design, which featured in its autumn 07 range, had been an innocent mistake. It said the shoe had been bought from a third-party supplier and that Office had no input on the design.

Jimmy Choo has taken action against a number of retailers in recent years, including New Look, Warehouse, Oasis and Jane Shilton. Head of legal Hannah Merritt said: “The metallic framed heel is one of Jimmy Choo’s most important signatures. It is very distinctive and we will not tolerate copies being sold.”

Rachael Parman, solicitor at Shoosmiths, Jimmy Choo’s legal adviser, said retailers should expect more legal cases relating to parts of a design.
She added: “A distinctive design of a heel of a shoe is as likely to infringe a designer’s rights as copying an entire shoe. It is important for the fashion industry to realise that parts of products can gain design right protection, which is particularly important if that part is a signature for that brand”.

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