A US based Irish pottery designer, trading as Kara Irish Pottery, has initiated proceedings in Massachusetts against Belleek Pottery and it US subsidiary claiming infringement of her designs. Kara Irish Pottery, with offices in Derry City and Boston, is claiming that Belleek Pottery has been "palming off" its products as its own despite allegedly using Kara Irish Pottery designs.
In court documents filed in late December, the plaintiff claims that her trademarked designs on her pottery reflect "unique and distinctive element of Celtic art and culture".
The designer has indicated that in 2008 she approached Belleek Pottery in Ireland and subsequently sent them samples of her work from her "Aranware" collection, with the intent of sourcing a new product manufacturer. Belleek allegedly informed her that they were not interested in this specific collection at the time. In 2012, the designer subsequently became aware that Bellek Pottery was intending to launch an "Aran" range, which she claims was largely based on her own design and work.
In seeking damages for this alleged trademark infringement, the designer informed the Court that should her action be successful the court could require that Belleek Pottery pay her all profits derived from its sale of products allegedly using her designs.