The new Danish Design Board
A number of Danish organisations have founded the Danish Design Board for the purpose of hearing disputes regarding the protection of the appearance of architecture, design and applied arts.
The new Danish Design Board provides an alternative to lawsuits before the courts, as the Board can decide cases regarding the protection of the appearance of architecture, design and applied arts. If the parties decide so beforehand, the decision from the Danish Design Board can constitute an arbitration award. The Danish Design Board consists of leading experts in law, architecture, design and applied arts, and the chairperson of the Board is a High Court judge.
The Danish Design Board also includes the so-called Expert Committee. A party or several parties jointly can request an opinion regarding the protection of the appearance of architecture, design and applied arts. This opinion can then be used in a pending trial or in settlement negotiations.
It is the expectation of the Danish Design Board that it can constitute a quicker and less expensive alternative to lawsuits before the courts, and alternatively as a preliminary step for assessing whether to file a lawsuit. Accordingly, the Danish Design Board and the Expert Committee will strive towards hearing cases within no more than six months. However, this may vary due to the complexity of the cases. The fee for a decision from the Danish Design Board is DKK 25,000 including VAT. The fee for an opinion from the Expert Committee is DKK 12,500 including VAT.
It should be noted that decisions from the Danish Design Board and the opinions from the Expert Committee are not legally binding (unless it is an agreed arbitration award), and this entails that such decisions or opinions cannot be enforced by the Enforcement Court. This is particularly relevant to consider when seeking to obtain an injunction against the sale of a potentially infringing product where the alternative is to start injunction proceedings before the courts; a decision which can be enforced. However, a decision from the Danish Design Board - alternatively an opinion from the Expert Committee - can still be a useful contribution to settlement negotiations. It should also be noted that bringing a case before the Danish Design Board does not suspend the limitation period, unless the parties have agreed to suspend the limitation period.
Plesner provides advice on the use of the Danish Design Board and can conduct cases before the Board.
Read more about the Danish Design Board (in Danish).