Spotlight infringes copyright, ordered to pay damages

| February 1, 2019

Spotlight has been ordered to pay damages to The Dempsey Group, Bed Bath N’ Table’s parent company, for lost profits as well as reputational damage after it broke intellectual property laws.

Spotlight was found by the Federal Court of Australia to have offered for sale and sold in Australia through its retail outlets, three ben linen products, which reproduced a substantial part of the following original artistic works (which were designed in-house at Bed Bath N’ Table) that are applied to the surface of Bed Bath N’ Table MORGAN & FINCH Rimona, Bosphorus and Constantinople quilt covers and pillow sets pictured below:

The Federal Court of Australia has ordered Spotlight to pay damages to The Dempsey Group for lost profits as well as reputational damage, the court finding that:

“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.

Jonathan Dempsey, owner and CEO of Bed Bath N’ Table said the brand was pleased there was a clear decision handed down by the Federal Court. The copying 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 5 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.”