The Janger Ltd v Tesco Plc
What does the fashion industry hang on?
The Janger is designed for travel and holiday use (so probably isn't getting a lot of use at the moment!)
Most fashion cases concern design right, copyright and trade marks. It is relatively unusual for patents and fashion to collide. The Janger Ltd v Tesco Plc  EWHC 3450 (IPEC) (16 December 2020) was one of the last cases from 2020 and one of the few to look at patents and fashion.
Janger had a patent for “A hangable garment hook”, filed on 17 February 2017. They accused Tesco of copying the Janger and consequently infringing rights in the patent.
You can only get a patent if a patent if the invention is "new" and "inventive". In order to show that the patent was not new or inventive and therefore Janger could not rely on it, Tesco relied on a US design patent. The judge agreed with Tesco that the Janger patent was not valid based on the earlier design patent. Because it was quite a simple product, there was no need to discuss the legal principles in detail.
It is worth noting that a prior disclosure at a meeting with M&S in 2013 was held to have been confidential. This finding was based on the key case on confidentiality: Coco v A N Clark (Engineers) Ltd. The judge reiterated that the approach to determining whether something was shared on a confidential basis is an objective one which depends on the circumstances.
To find out more contact Rosie Burbidge, Intellectual Property Partner at Gunnercooke LLP in London - firstname.lastname@example.org