Cambridge Satchel Company settles copyright row

Friday, 24 August 2012
British leather satchel brand The Cambridge Satchel Company has announced that it has settled its case for infringement of intellectual property rights against rival Zatchels.

The statement received from The Cambridge Satchel Company confirmed that an out of court agreement has been reached and that Zatchels are set to pay an undisclosed sum.

The infringement case was filed against the leather brand’s former manufacturer Leicester Remedials and Sewing, which is now trading as Zatchels, at the High Court in October 2011. The claim sought compensation and damages for breach of contract and the unlawful use of goods after The Cambridge Satchel Company alleged that the former manufacturer used its designs, patterns and leather to set up Zatchels in direct competition.

Chris Sleep, intellectual property lawyer for Birketts who acted for The Cambridge Satchel Company, said:  "One of the inevitabilities of establishing a successful brand is that there will be others that will look to take shortcuts by copying.

“This case shows the importance of implementing a brand protection policy including taking steps to register trademarks and designs, but also to actively enforce those rights against infringers, as The Cambridge Satchel Company did with Zatchels."

A statement from Zatchels regarding the case said: “Whist we strongly consider the claim to be speculative and unfounded, with all of the costs and unpleasantness involved with a high court action, we have decided to settle the claim with a payment. This is to avoid a protracted and long drawn out litigation so that we are able to concentrate on our business, which continues to flourish.

“The designs we have been offering over the last few months will continue to be offered and are not affected by this settlement. It is not in any way relevant to our current trading position.The commercial reality of this type of litigation means it was more attractive to settle with a payment, than to continue to argue, which will serve to detract us as the directors from continuing to grow and support our very successful business.

“We are sufficiently satisfied with this outcome and now with this behind us we look forward to a long and successful future with Zatchels.”