|One of Verity's works|
For their SS14 season, M&S began selling framed wall prints which closely imitated her own.
The World Intellectual Property Review reports:
After seeing the M&S products in November last year, Verity asked for legal advice from a lawyer, who wrote to the retailer suggesting that it was in breach of copyright.
In response, M&S’s legal representatives said they did not believe the retailer was infringing copyright.
Verity told WIPR: “M&S keeps saying that I don’t own and cannot claim rights on the idea and that the style is an established design practice, but I never claimed the concept was my idea.
“The problem I have is that it’s a very distinct style and I use the same font in everything I do. The M&S product uses the same font and the layout looks like one of mine.”Any IP lawyers reading this will be very familiar with the idea of copying the idea versus the expression. I would be interested to hear thoughts on whether this would amount to copyright infringement by M&S. At this stage, however, it does not appear that Verity has gone as far as filing a claim against M&S. Indeed, it seems that M&S has removed their piece from their website and it is no longer available. So perhaps the saga is over for now.
Source: World Intellectual Property Review, 24 February 2014