Frozen potato product manufacturer McCain has lost its appeal over its Rustic Twist fries after the Court of Appeal in The Hague ruled that they infringed the European design rights of its competitor Simplot.

Same overall impression

In 2010, Simplot had the specific shape of its curly SideWinders fries registered as a European design. Just as the Court of First Instance did in 2017, the Court of Appeal upheld Simplot’s design rights and concluded that McCain’s Rustic Twist fries produced the same overall impression and therefore infringed the earlier protected design.

EU design registration no. 1769167     

Value of design rights

The judgement demonstrates the considerable value of EU design rights. It shows that even for something as relatively basic as these twisted fries, they can be used to obtain an effective monopoly in all 28 EU member states.