A Dutch designer is launching a beanbag designed to lay on under the trademark “Lamzac”, together with the beanbag manufacturer Fatboy. Therefore, it can be referred to as an inflatable armchair. Different than other beanbags, the Lamzac is filled with air. The designer has arranged a European model registration on the design.
Shortly after the introduction of the Lamzac, one of the partners of the company Massive Air contacted the Lamzac inventor and ordered a few pieces. A few months later, Massive Air started a crowdfunding campaign for the production of their own inflatable armchair, under the name KAISR.
The designer of Lamzac started an interlocutory procedure, on the basis of design rights, due to the similarities between both inflatable armchairs and the fact that the first KAISR inflatable chairs would already be delivered around the end of May.
According to Massive Air, the design of the Lamzac is mainly technically determined: an inflatable armchair needs some particular characteristics in order to function. Moreover, because certain technical elements do not fall under the design right, the model registration of the Lamzac could not provide protection.
The judge however did not agree. The elements copied from the Lamzac in the KAISR, could have also been designed differently without negatively affecting the use of the chair. In particular, the contours and the way in which the bag is padded are not necessary for achieving the lounging effect, now that there are different alternatives on the market.
Subsequently, the question remains whether the KAISR gives the same impression as the Lamzac. The Court believes so, as the same pipe structure is used and both chairs are equipped with a gap in the longitudinal direction. The fact that the Lamzac remains the first inflatable chair on the market plays an important role in the decision. Therefore, Massive Air needs to cease the offering, producing and trading of the KAISR in the European Union.