High street fashion retailer Oasis has backed down in a copying row raised by ACID, the Anti Copying In Design group. The retailer is paying 5000 compensation to a designer whose work it was accused of copying.
Oasis has agreed to pay the figure, covering legal costs and royalties, to jewellery designer Tateossian after one of its products ranges was claimed to have copied a Tateossian original. The Tateossian range sold for between 30 and 70, while the Oasis version, made from cheaper materials, was priced between 2.99 and 4.99.
Oasis has also agreed not to order further stocks of the offending products, though the deal allows existing stock to be sold off through its stores. The products were sourced from a manufacturer based in India.
In a statement, the retailer says: “Our supplier has assured us there was no copying,” adding, “the cost of contesting these claims could be disproportionate to the value of the goods”.
Tateossian was represented by ACID throughout the proceedings. The association was founded earlier this year by law firm Theodore Goddard and interior design consultancy Holbein, and now has 80 members. It helps independent design companies in actions against large manufacturers and retailers, offering a certain degree of free legal advice and access to databases regarding similar cases.
ACID also keeps a register of designs by its members. Solicitor Simon Clark of Theodore Goddard says that in the long term, ACID aims to encourage retailers such as Oasis to check the register before buying new product ranges in order to ensure they are not ignorantly buying copies of registered designs.