Virtuoso Legal Secure Judgment for Zaap Restaurants

Virtuoso Legal Secure Judgement for Zaap Restaurants

Virtuoso Legal Secure Judgment for Zaap Restaurants

Virtuoso Legal Secure Judgment for Zaap Restaurants in Unregistered Design Right Infringement Action

28/02/2018 – Virtuoso Legal have received a judgment in favour of our client Zaap restaurants – in relation to an infringement of their unregistered design.

Background

Zaap are an up-and-coming Thai-street food outfit based in Leeds, with outlets around the country.

They are built out of the eminently successful Sukhothai restaurant chain – who are also a runaway success in the area.

Zaap strive to make a visit to one of their outlets feel like you are transported to Bangkok.

Zaap’s authentic Thai-food combined with its original restaurant decor – which they put a great amount of attention to detail and effort into – are key features of this experience.

An example of such detail are the tuk tuks that Zaap have in their restaurants. Tuk tuks are a common form of transport in Thailand – and would be very familiar to anyone who has visited the area.

The ones that feature in Zaap’s restaurants are unique as they were built with tables and seating enclosed. As such, they form a big part of Zaap’s unique dining experience.

Zaap were shocked to find that this original design had been replicated by an ex-employee in a different Thai-restaurant.

Zaap instructed Virtuoso Legal to address this.

Action

Whilst Zaap had not registered their tuk tuk designs – as design objects, they are automatically protected by UK and EU unregistered designs rights, as well as copyright.

Upon instruction Virtuoso Legal issued a claim based upon these rights, requesting a series of undertakings from the defendant.

In addition, Virtuoso Legal assisted Zaap in registering various rights with UKIPO – to ensure that important company assets are ring-fenced for the future.

Result

Virtuoso Legal received a judgment in favour of our client in relation to the Defendant’s use of Zaap’s original tuk tuk seating designs.

In doing so, Zaap are reassured that their unique take on Thai dining will not be aped by others moving forward.

Virtuoso Legal will now take client instructions in respect to the enforcement of the judgment, and any further related issues moving forward.

Comment

Associate solicitor, Lakmal Walawage who worked closely on the case stated:

Sukho Ltd. are known for offering authentic, high-end Thai cuisine in Yorkshire in their Sukhothai restaurants. Having enjoyed their food for years (and indeed having been a member of their staff in my student days), I was keen to help them protect the rights in their new ‘Zaap’ venture when they came to us. Sukho’s Zaap restaurants offer a very authentic Thai-street food experience, not only through their food and drink but through the decor and environment. It is an element of this unique dining experience (specifically the bespoke design of a tuk tuk dining area) that our client was seeking to protect in these proceedings.

The case was a complex design right infringement case (partially involving trade mark infringement), where the infringers were being particularly evasive and incooperative. In the circumstances, we were forced to take a strong stance, taking every initiative to protect and enforce the client’s IP rights and achieve their commercial objectives.

We have now managed to obtain judgment in favour of our client, and taking steps to enforce the same. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with both Chris and Gerrard at Sukho Ltd., and I look forward to working closely with them in the future.”

Chris Hammond, Commercial Director of Sukho Ltd., stated:

We found Virtuoso Legal after extensive research of law firms that specialised within the realm of Intellectual Property (IP). We had an array of challenges that were impinging on our rights and were damaging to our business. Lakmal was able to impart his expert knowledge across various complex challenges that we were keen to deal with as strongly as possible. Lakmal always proffers a strategic and systematic approach, particularly for our most recent IP case that has seen us defend our brand by way of a successful judgment from the High Court of Justice. Lakmal and the Virtuoso team have fought hard to ensure we retain our uniqueness within a complicated field of law. Lakmal has the drive and determination to ensure you have the best chance of being successful, and is able to relay complex issues in a clear succinct manner. We are very grateful to Lakmal and Virtuoso Legal and will continue to partner with them as we see real value in defending and retaining our IP. I would highly recommend Lakmal and the team at Virtuoso Legal.”

Upon the judgment head of IP Protect and senior solicitor Philip Partington added:

The work undertaken by Lakmal for Sukho limited on this matter was substantial and comprehensive. When an innovative company like Sukho limited, who are leaders in their area, differentiate themselves from the crowd – they can end up with a target on their back.

Frankly, it’s difficult to come up with stand-out ideas. On the other hand it’s easy to copy these ideas and attempt to benefit from other people’s hard work.That is until you come across a business who has the awareness and inclination to stop this kind of activity in its tracks. In these cases, we are always happy to assist forward-thinking businesses like Sukho Limited to assertively protect their originality.

As such, the result gained for Sukho limited is what IP Protect at Virtuoso Legal is all about. We are delighted and look forward to seeing Zaap’s continued success.”

Virtuoso Legal are a boutique law firm comprised of intellectual property specialists.

The firm has an unmatched level of expertise and experience dealing with intellectual property and commercialisation of ideas.

A big challenge that businesses face comes from understanding, growing and protecting their intangible assets.

In this case, Zaap Restaurants’ unique restaurant dining experience was under threat by infringers – who if not challenged would have benefited from their originality.

Virtuoso Legal are delighted to protect businesses like Zaap Restaurants, and help them continue to build success on the ideas that make them unique.

If you would like to speak to Philip or Lakmal or any one else in our award-winning team, call:

📞 0113 237 9900

Virtuoso Legal Secure Judgment for Zaap Restaurants was written by Dr. Martin Douglas Hendry

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