Beanbag baby bath supporter design narrowly construed

Michal Ferst, a graduate of the Bezalel School of Art and Design created a baby supporter for aiding bathing a baby.

The device is an oval-shaped beanbag filled with polystyrene beans and covered with a stretch fabric.

A second company, Reem, Import and Marketing LTD., imported a competing product called Softeeze that is manufactured by Jagabon, a British Company.

Ferst sued Reem, claiming that her registered design was being infringed, and that they were passing off and guilty of unjust enrichment.

Noting that there were visual differences between the two designs and that the similarities that there were, could fairly be attributed to the purpose, and the fairly standard size and shapes of bathtubs and babies, Judge Varda Meroz dismissed all charges.

T.A. 41704-112-09 Ferst vs. Roem Import and Marketing LTD. before Judge Varda Meroz, Tel Aviv Central District Court.

COMMENTS

It is fairly rare for design infringement cases to be decided by the Israeli courts. In this instance, the ruling is a correct one. If the product is conceptually inventive, it should be protectable as a patent. The designs are sufficiently dissimilar that there is no registered design infringement or passing off.

I am in two minds concerning these type of devices. They may help support a baby and prevent drowning, but then again, may result in leaving the baby unattended. When our eldest was born we invested in a baby bath and a plastic support thingy for the baby. Never used it.

Reminds me of the grim old music hall song…

The mother turned round for a minute,
to get the soap from the rack…
She only turned round for a minute,
but o-oh when she turned back..

her baby had gone
and in anguish she cried
Oh where is my babe?
and the angels replied

Your baby has gone down the plughole
Gone down the hole for the plug
she was far too small
to be bathed at all,
and should have been washed in a jug…

your baby is perfectly happy
he won’t need a bath any more
he’s floating away down the drainpipe
not lost but gone before

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