Designer’s suit against Van Cleef for rights fails

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French judge rules against former employee who withheld drawings.

A court in Paris has rejected the claims of a former designer at Van Cleef & Arpels that he has ownership over jewellery designed while he worked at the luxury house.

Thierry Berthelot had worked for Van Cleef & Arpels and had taken legal action to try to claim rights over the jewellery that he designed while working there, according to a report in The Financial Times.

The court ruled against Berthelot on the basis that the designs created for the house were done so with the involvement of others at Van Cleef & Arpels and so were a collective effort.

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Van Cleef & Aprels chief executive Stanislas de Quercize said that the outcome of the court case will have far reaching implications for the entire luxury goods industry in France, bringing what he termed “much-needed clarity”.

Berthelot was ordered to pay €10,000 (£8,000) in damages and interest because he had held on to drawings from his time at Van Cleef & Arpels. The designer said that despite losing the case he will carry on in his fight against the luxury jeweller and intends to take the civil case to France’s highest court, the Cours de Cassation.

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