newsletter link
mondo arc

Santa & Cole files lawsuit against Qatar

27 July 2012 09.30 BST

(Qatar) - Designer of the Latino streetlight sues Qatar over “one of the biggest cases of public counterfeiting in the history of design” for 2006 Asian Games project.

According to a press release by Santa & Cole, “The public company Ashghal from Qatar forged the "Latina" streetlamp, designed by the architect Beth Galí, and manufactured and marketed by the company Santa & Cole. Nearly 1,000 forged units were installed on Al Waab Street, the main street in Doha.”

The case goes back to April 2005, when Ashghal requested Santa & Cole to complete an entire lighting project for Al Waab Street for the 14th Asian Games taking place in Doha in 2006. According to the Spanish company, after the Qatari authorities chose the Latina streetlamp, which was adapted to meet the needs of the project, and having submitted five different projects with models and technical specifications, Ashghal requested a local company to make nearly 1,000 copies of the streetlamp in 2006.

Santa & Cole has been in negotiations with the Qatari government ever since to resolve the problem with the Spanish lighting manufacturer offereing to take the case to the arbitration of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). However, this was refused by Qatar. Following the breakdown in communications the case has been brought in front of the Courts of Barcelona and “one of the largest acts of piracy in the history of design committed by a sovereign state is now being made public”.

The architect Beth Galí, the Chairman of Santa & Cole, Javier Nieto Santa, and the Chairman of BCD (Barcelona Design Centre), Pau Herrera, made the announcement at the Courts of Law in Barcelona on July 24th.

Javier Nieto, Chairman of Santa & Cole, stated: "It is unbelievable that a country such as Qatar could commit such a serious case of forgery"

Pau Herrera, Chairman of BCD, ensured that "protecting design as a factor of innovation is essential to create economic and social value, and represents one of the most important assets of professionals and European companies".

Herrera added that cases such as this one "do not only damage our business, but also the city model Barcelona wants to project".

Galí expressed her "full confidence in the Spanish legal system to resolve a blatant case of large-scale forgery" at the courts.


Left, the original Latina streetlight from Santa & Cole and, right, the “forgeries” covering 10 kilometres of Al Waab Street in Doha.

Related Articles


Follow us on…

Follow Mondo Arc Magazine on Twitter Follow Mondo Arc Magazine on Facebook Follow Mondo Arc Magazine on Linked In

mondo arc india

darc awards DWLF IALD PLDC LRO