Stokke drops design copy lawsuit

Leander’s high chair for children is a new and independent work, featuring a range of functional improvements and better stability than Stokke’s Tripp Trapp chair. This conclusion was reached by two independent experts appointed by the Copenhagen Maritime and Commercial Court in the first case filed by Stokke alleging that Leander copied the design of Stokke’s Tripp Trapp chair. Leander was cleared of all charges by the court and Stokke was convicted of violating the Danish Marketing Practices Act.
Stokke has now dropped a similar case in Holland that had been ongoing for nearly five years.

“Of course it’s nice that the case is finally closed, so that we can concentrate fully on what we do best: designing and manufacturing our furniture for children and their development,” says company founder and designer Stig Leander.

The company Leander A/S, based in Silkeborg, Denmark, also known for the Leander cradle and Leander bed, makes the Leander’s high chair and other specially designed furniture for children. Five years ago, Stokke filed a lawsuit against Leander in Holland, claiming that Leander copied the design of Stokke’s Tripp Trapp chair. Leander was cleared of all the charges in the first court ruling, but Stokke appealed. It is this appeal that Stokke has now dropped.

A similar case at the Copenhagen Maritime and Commercial Court in Denmark in 2010 also ended with a ruling in favour of Leander. In that case, Stokke was instead convicted of violating several articles of the Danish Marketing Practices Act for attempting to threaten retailers to stop them from selling Leander’s high chair.

“We must assume that Stokke has realised that there was no point in pursuing the Dutch case to the end. But one could wonder why it had to take five years to reach this realisation – especially if you read the statement by the two independent experts to the Copenhagen Maritime and Commercial Court in Denmark in 2010,” says Stig Leander.

The findings in the experts’ comparison of the two high chairs included the following:

“It is the experts’ opinion that the Leander chair is a complete design in its overall look and that it is a more lightweight, dynamic, rounded and elastic construction.” The experts also describe Leander’s high chair as a new and independent work that features a range of functional improvements and better stability than the competitor’s high chair.

 

May 2013