Spectravest Inc v Aperknit: ChD 1988

The parties had disputed the use of a Puss-n-Boots design motif used on garments. The defendant had undertaken to surrender goods using the motif, and not to further infringe the plaintiff’s copyright. Later the defendant had obtained legal advice that the use of a further design it was not infringing, undertook further sales. The plaintiffs alleged contempt.
Held: The original order had only required surrender of items then existing, and did not cover the later ones. Given the advice taken, the defendants were not culpable for relying upon that advice. Though they should, in these circumstances, have notified the plaintiffs of their intentions, they should not be fined for their actions.
Millet J said: ‘To establish contempt of court, it is sufficient to prove that the defendant’s conduct was intentional and that he knew of all the facts which made it a breach of the order. It is not necessary to prove that he appreciated that it did breach the order.’


Millett J


[1988] FSR 16


Copyright Act 1956 3(5)(a)


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedAbsolute Living Developments Ltd v DS7 Ltd and Others ChD 5-Jul-2018
Allegation of seven breaches of freezing order by one defendant.
Held: Marcus Smith J summarised the law that applies to establish that there has been a contempt of court by virtue of the breach of such an order: ‘(1) Of critical importance is . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court

Updated: 21 August 2022; Ref: scu.658854