LONDON (13 April 2006) —On Tuesday 11 April 2006, the UK Court of Appeal handed down judgment giving a favourable ruling to McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP client, Stonestyle Ltd. The case concerned branded designer clothing and involved the relationship between a claim for trademark infringement and the defence based on breaches of European competition law (Article 81 of the EC Treaty).
The first instance court had ruled that competition (antitrust) law could not be raised as a defence to defeat the trademark infringement claim. The appeal court comprehensively overruled this decision, holding that where a breach of Article 81 was closely connected to the trademark claim, the plea of a breach of Article 81 could be raised by way of a defence.
The McDermott Will & Emery team included intellectual property associate Hiroshi Sheraton.