Brompton: is it bad news for the UK?


Penelope Thornton and Alastair Shaw

Brompton: is it bad news for the UK?

Pierre Aden /

The CJEU’s ruling in Brompton could cause a headache for the UK, where the copyright regime now appears to be out of step with the EU’s. Penelope Thornton and Alastair Shaw of Hogan Lovells report.

The Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) handed down its highly-anticipated judgment in Brompton Bicycle v Get2Get on June 11, 2020, confirming that a partly functional shape is protectable by copyright. The decision adds to a line of CJEU case law harmonising the concept of “work” under EU copyright law, and raises questions about whether current UK copyright law on the protection for functional designs is compatible.

Reference to the CJEU

UK company Brompton Bicycle is the maker of a well-known folding bicycle, the Brompton, which folds into three different positions. The company sued Get2Get, the maker of a very similar folding bicycle, in Belgium for infringement of copyright in the design for the bike.

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