Wednesday, 1 August 2012


This blogger was in such a rush to be first off the starting grid that she didn't notice that a large chunk of the BMW judgment is missing from the SAFLII site. Thanks to Wilma Gilson from Spoor and Fisher for telling me.
For those who are interested, paragraphs [37] - [60] have been omitted from both the RTF and the PDF versions of the judgment. These paragraphs continue BMW's arguments on the distinction between functional and aesthetic design, and deal with Grandmark's counterclaim for expungement of the registered designs. In brief, BMW argued that section 14(5) of the Designs Act allows protection to be granted to the 'aesthetic' portions of a design that also incorporates functional features. The court held  that individual vehicle body parts did not have aesthetic characteristics, although the whole vehicle might have an aesthetic value, and that a vehicle part has no independent existence - its only function is to form part of the vehicle.

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