INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW & PRACTICE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW & PRACTICE  WORKSHOP 8File Management Task   You are Kim Scrivener, a trainee in the firm of William Dunbar & Co. Your firm has been instructed for the first time by PoMo Ltd. Your firm’s contact at the company is Elaine Chan, and your supervisor is Jess Beamfield. Jess sends you the attached email.  What you need to do: Reply to the email, complying with the instructions you are given in it.   To:  From: Title: PoMo Ltd Kim, you may be aware that we have acquired this firm as a client from one of our rival firms, following a pitch we did for their work last month. PoMo specialises in designing and manufacturing high-quality housewares with a strong contemporary industrial design ‘feel’. So far it has established a very strong reputation for design, but has never quite fulfilled its commercial potential; this is the side of the business which our client contact Elaine Chan has been brought in to oversee. One of PoMo’s designs which Elaine is excited about is a fruit juicer. I am considering recommending that the client applies to register aspects of the juicer as a Registered Community Design, however there are some aspects of it which I am concerned may be excluded by the technical function exception. The crucial thing I think however is that there are juicers on the market which perform this technical function in a different way. Surely the existence of alternatives by definition means the design is not dictated by technical function i.e. if there are different ways to do it then there is scope for design flair? I recollect that the ECJ gave guidance on the application of this exception two or three years ago – Doceram I think the case was called. Could you dig it out and write a report for me which summarises the points which the case deals with as it may apply to the juicer? Whilst I do want the technical detail, make it readable for me please – don’t just copy out text from the case and expect me to interpret it myself. Also, if you could suggest a way forward as part of your assessment of the situation, that’d be useful.

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