Ikea accused of copying Dutch designers’ ceiling lamp model
Dutch designers Erwin Zwiers and Margje Teeuwen are accusing IKEA of copying their design for a ceiling lamp that looks like a wad of paper. The duo filed a lawsuit against the Swedish company, charging the furniture store chain with "slavish imitation". The court in Amsterdam will rule on this case in March. the Volkskrant reports.
Zwiers started working on a paper lamp in 2013 and discovered that Teeuwan had designed a similar lamp and has been selling it since 2010. The two teamed up and developed an improved version. This new and improved lamp was not made from paper, but from a recyclable and easily pliable kind of plastic that looks like stiff paper. They officially launched the "Prop lamp" at the Design District fair in Zaandam in May 2014, getting all kinds of publicity in international design magazines, Zwiers said to the Volkskrant.
In November 2014 a design enthusiast drew Teeuwen's attention to a Facebook announcement of a lamp by Icelandic designer Siga Heimis which IKEA would be selling from February 2015. The designs looked almost identical. Teeuwen immediately contacted IKEA, but the only effect that had was that the chain started selling the "Krusning" lamp in December 2014, instead of February 2015.
According to the two Dutch designers, the IKEA lamp did not go unnoticed when they launched new variants of their lamp - a floor and a wall version - at the Dutch Design Week in 2015. "For ten days we heard several times every day: hey, I know that lamp from IKEA. That hurt, especially since Ikea would not budge", they said to the newspaper.
The first hearing in this trial was on Friday. IKEA insisted that the Krusning is an original design, and not copied from the Dutch designers.