The Mercantile Court 2 of Barcelona has ordered that the State of Qatar copied the design of lamppost that it placed in one of the main routes of Doha. The intellectual property right belongs to the Catalan architect Beth Galí in a project for the company Santa & Cole. The judge compelled the public company Ashgal, which performs the public works for the Qatari State to pay an indemnity of 50,000 euros to Galí for the causing moral harm by breaching the copyright. However, the most crucial thing is that the magistrate demanded that the thousands of counterfeit lampposts that are already placed on the avenue be destroyed and also the clones which are in stock.
Santa & Cole came to learn about the designs of streetlamps being copied by the state of Qatar when the latter complained to Santa & Cole that the lampposts were breaking down because of the winds. The company suspected something fishy and during their sudden trip to Doha, they found that the designs of streetlamps were similar to those of Gali, even though the metal structure had been manufactured in Turkey and the spotlights in China.
Catalan designer, Beth Galí, assisted by Santa & Cole, asked for reimbursement for contravention of intellectual property. The company, Santa & Cole knocked the doors of the Spanish embassy as well as international organizations to intensify their allegation. They tried to take the help of FC Barcelona but were denied. Santa & Cole then took the help of the law and filed a lawsuit as the forgery would impact negatively on the brand.
It became the first ruling where the Spanish judge safeguards the intellectual property of designers and went against as sovereign State. Javier Nieto, president of Santa & Cole stated that this ruling was important for the internationalization of copyright. He even commented that justice has been delivered for the world of design as well as the business world.
As per sources, the judge acknowledged the creative height of Galí’s design of the streetlamps, a way of stating that Gali’s work needs to be safeguarded for the artistic value it holds.