HoF fined for infringing copyright

Department store group House of Fraser has agreed to pay£7,000 to an independent player after infringing copyright with three items of clothing in its Therapy range.

The products, copies of designs by Baby Ceylon, were withdrawn from shelves after the retailer was contacted by Anti-Copying in Design (ACID) associate solicitor Theodore Goddard.

ACID has acted with members to combat the illegal use of designs in more than 100 cases. Chief executive Dids Macdonald said: 'This is a clear message to the retail giants that designers are protecting their market share. They created it - why shouldn't they reap the benefits?'

The designs were a cord ruffle jacket, a satin lace-sleeved corset and a sari split-sleeve top.

Theodore Goddard lawyer Simon Clark said: 'UK design laws have been strengthened in the last 12 months so that there are now few loopholes remaining for retailers to exploit.'

ACID has been campaigning for retailers to agree to a code of conduct.

In August, department store group John Lewis became the first to sign up.

John Lewis prevented value retailer Peacocks from selling bedlinen that JLP said was 'as similar as you can get' to its own range.

The code is not legally binding, but retailers have shown a reluctance to sign, added Macdonald.