The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.
Gustave Flaubert

Wednesday 12 October 2011

Army and Navy Stores catalogue

A searchable database of prior art for registered designs purposes, no longer published*. The Army and Navy Stores was a co-operative set up in 1871 by officers of those forces (pre-dating, readers will observe, the creation of the Royal Air Force by some 48 years) operating from premises in Victoria Street, Westminster. From 1922 it began to allow a wider range of customers to shop there, and in 1976 it was acquired by the House of Fraser group which itself was acquired, along with swathes of British business, by Baugur in 2006. It now trades, from a modern building (by the architects Elsom Pack & Robertsstill in Victoria Street, under the House of Fraser brand. A retail business with the same name was set up in western Canada in 1919 and is still trading: it also had a major mail-order operation, and its catalogue would also have been useful sources of prior art.

Old catalogues are available through secondhand and antiquarian book dealers, but given the lack of a substantive examination in modern registered designs systems throughout Europe their value to practitioners is greatly diminished.

* I have been unable to find a source for this proposition, or to remember where I heard it. If any reader can assist I would be very grateful.

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