Montana wins trademark suit

Denka Møbler A/S acted contrary to fair trading practices in connection with the marketing of their shelf system Team, which is hardly distinguishable from the well-known Montana shelves. On 17 May 2002, the Copenhagen Maritime and Commercial Court ordered Denka Møbler A/S to pay damages for market displacement and market disruption in the amount of DKK 6 million plus interest to Montana Møbler represented by manager Peter Lassen.

During a previous case Montana Møbler A/S succeeded in its claim that the shelf system Team was very similar to Montana and that the shelf systems were hardly distinguishable to people without expert knowledge.

Moreover, the judges presumed that Denka through the extensive imitation, including the choice of colours, in connection with marketing and descriptions in catalogues deliberately tried to exploit the market position created by Montana.

The court found that Denka Møbler during an action for damages concerning the infringement that had taken place from mid 1988 to late 1995 had sold a considerable amount of Team shelf units compared to Montana's sale of shelf units. Therefore, Team unlawfully displaced Montana's market position to an extent that represents a not insignificant part of the sale of Team. During the action for damages, Montana Møbler and manager Peter Lassen were represented by attorney Peter-Ulrik Plesner from Plesner Svane Grønborg.

Furthermore, attorney Peter-Ulrik Plesner succeeded in his claim that the marketing of the Team system contributed to weakening Montana's market position. The court found that it would have lead to further damage to Montana and involved marketing expenses for the company to defend the market position obtained in 1998.

The judgment has been appealed to the Supreme Court.