American furniture brand Emeco has accepted an out-of-court settlement from IKEA after accusing the Swedish furniture giant of copying its Emeco 20-06 stacking aluminum chair, designed by British architect Norman Foster. The agreement makes clear that Emeco owns the intellectual property rights to the 20-06 chair, which was designed by Foster in 2006.
Emeco had claimed that IKEA's stacking Melltorp dining chair was "very, very similar" to its own product. IKEA disagreed with the claim.
The settlement is the latest victory for Emeco, which has resorted to legal action to protect its designs on several occasions in the past.
In 2013 it reached a settlement with the US furniture giant Restoration Hardware, which it had accused of copying its iconic aluminum Navy Chair. Restoration Hardware agreed to cease selling the product.
Emeco's CEO Gregg Buchbinder expressed his frustration at firms that copied their products, "It's something that, as a manufacturer that puts a lot of time and effort into the development and research and everything else, is a very hard thing to swallow."
In a related story Airbnb replaced a set of eight aluminum chairs at its new San Francisco headquarters after Emeco pointed out that they were fake Navy Chairs.
Emeco’s experience with fighting replicas and reproductions of its designs is a small part of the ongoing problem of fakes in the marketplace.
Recently the delivery of 100 replicas of Danish designer Hans J. Wegner’s Round Chair were seized and destroyed by Norwegian customs.
In the UK, manufacturing and selling copies of mass-produced designs won't be illegal until after 2020, when a new copyright protection law will be introduced to give industrially manufactured items the same protection as works of art, books or music.
The change to the law followed a wide debate on copyright for furniture designs after the British prime minister's wife purchased a reproduction of the Castiglioni brothers' iconic 1962 Arco Floor Lamp in 2011.
The copying of original design eats away at the very creativity of the design industry. GRShop and Gabriel Ross only sell original and authentic furnishings and objects. We strongly urge you not to be seduced by the lower prices of fakes and replicas - you really won't be happy long term with your purchase. Support creativity and help protect the history of design and the future of innovation.
Customers in the USA can purchase many of GRShop's products at ModernPlanet.com and receive the same great customer service and free shipping.