Pro Bono Advice on Infringement of IP Rights

19 Feb 2013

Simmons & Simmons Protects IP Rights of Welsh Sculptor
The Dragon roars again!

International law firm Simmons & Simmons has advised the Western Front Association (WFA) and the sculptor David Petersen on infringement of IP rights in relation to the iconic Welsh Dragon Mametz Wood Memorial – one of the most visited memorials on the 1916 Somme battlefield.

Led by Nicholas Fox, an intellectual property specialist, the Simmons IP team advised the WFA and David Peterson on a pro bono basis. The team achieved a swift settlement in respect of replica statues of the memorial which were produced without David Petersen`s consent. Agreement was also reached to ensure the payment of on-going royalties for any replicas sold in the future. The settlement amount and any royalties will be used for the maintenance of the memorial.

Nicholas Fox said: “This is a great example of an early settlement being achieved through dedicated pro bono advice. This kind of support makes a huge difference to individuals and small charities who could not otherwise afford this kind of specialised legal advice.”

Timing was important as the Commonwealth War Graves Commission asked the WFA to pay for landscaping around the memorial site for access and safety reasons. Sculptor David Petersen, also known for his work on the rocket models for Stanley Kubrick`s film "2001", said: “The money received will be a massive boost to the WFA’s fundraising efforts and would not have been possible without Simmons & Simmons’ help."

A number of commercial producers have produced replicas, postcards, magnets, notebooks and posters without any recognition of Mr Petersen’s rights or any contribution to the upkeep of the memorial. Simmons & Simmons’ Paris office is now investigating to see what can be done to protect the memorial in France.


Notes to editors:
1. The memorial, a dramatic Welsh dragon cast in steel, clutching the wire of the German defences, is dedicated to the 4,000 Welsh soldiers who fell in the battle for Mametz Wood in the early days of the 1916 attack.

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