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10 February 2020
On 4 October 2019 the Barcelona Court of Appeal confirmed a criminal sentence of six months' imprisonment, a fine and compensation of legal costs for the possession of 240 round bags which infringed the famous Robin Ruth Group (RRG) design. The RRG design consists of a city's name repeated in the same font, with one repetition highlighted using a different-sized font.
On 11 October 2018 the Arenys de Mar Trial Court Number 1 handed down a condemnatory sentence based on Article 273.3 of the Criminal Code, as the infringed design was a registered Community design (for further details please see "Criminal sentence for possession of handbags which infringe Robin Ruth Group design").
The defence appealed the trial court's decision.
The defence claimed that the trial court had erred in its assessment of the facts as:
Further, the defence claimed that the trial court had erred in its assessment of the evidence as:
The defence also argued that the court had infringed procedural norms – namely, the minimal intervention principle.
The appeal court qualified the importance of judges' perception of personal evidence, which is subjective, and the role of second-instance courts as regards the valuation of proof. Having seen the trial recording, the appeal court considered that the assessment of evidence had been carried out logically, rationally and consistently by the trial court.
With regard to the trial court's assessment of the facts, the appeal court concluded that:
Moreover, with regard to the defence's supposed lack of knowledge of the registered design, the appeal court declared that:
With regard to the assessment of the expert reports and witness statements, the appeal court agreed with the trial court that more credibility should have been given to the expert report issued by the police agent, which was clear, solid and explicit in comparison with the ex parte report, which was undermining and concluded that the infringing bags lacked their own individual character and that the character that they did have derived from the original RRG bags.
Finally, with regard to the allegation of infringement of procedural norms, the appeal court highlighted that, according to doctrine, the minimal intervention principle is aimed at the legislature and that, in this case, the proven conduct was infringement.
The judgment is final.
For further information on this topic please contact Barbara Krystkowiak at Grau & Angulo by telephone (+34 93 202 34 56) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Grau & Angulo website can be accessed at www.ga-ip.com.
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