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Jewellery and IPR

Written by Saowanee Kristin, a post-graduate student on work experience at Lawdit on 15 November 2013

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Jewellery can be protected by:

Copyright

Provided that the design is ‘original’ the jewellery may be protected by copyright. The requirement of originality means the design could not be commonplace or have been previously created/ designed.

Copyright arises automatically if the conditions of originality and fixation (expressing a work into a tangible form, rather than the idea) are met.

Copyright: Providing that the design is ‘original’ the jewellery piece may be protected by copyright. The requirement of originality means the design could not be commonplace nor have been created/ designed before. Copyright arises automatically if the conditions of originality and fixation (expressing a work into a tangible form, rather than just having the idea of it) are met. However, the absence of any formalities means that proving that someone has infringed your design right is difficult. For instance, without any documentation for the design it will be almost impossible to prove the date that the design was created and therefore who has the copyright in the design.  However, the absence of any formalities means that proving that someone has infringed your copyright is difficult. For instance, without any documentation it may prove difficult to prove the date that the copyright was created and therefore who owns the copyright.

Unregistered Design Right:

This intellectual property right automatically rises and will offer limited protection for a design for a term of 10 years after the first marketing of articles that use the design, or 15 years after the creation of the design - whichever is earlier.

Design Right gives you automatic protection for the internal or external shape or configuration of an original design, i.e. its three-dimensional shape. Design Right allows you to stop anyone from copying the shape or configuration of the article, but does not give you protection for any of the 2-dimensional aspects, for example surface patterns.

Design right will allow you to solely exploit the design commercially and anyone who tries to make money from the design may be infringing the design right.

Similarly with copyright; because of the lack of registration it may be difficult to prove who created what first.

It is much safer to register your designs to prevent any grievance in a legal battle.

Registered Designs:

By registering your designs you can ensure a higher level of protection, by having proof of ownership and of the date in which you formed the design. This right has duration of 25 years and gives you a monopoly over the design, allowing you the exclusive right to exploit the design and prevent third parties from copying it. You can stop people making, offering, putting on the market, importing, exporting, using or stocking for those purposes, a product to which your design is applied. You can protect two-dimensional designs or surface patterns as well as shape and configuration with a Registered Design. This gives you financial stability, as another party will be unable to commercially exploit the design. Registration can be for both the UK and the EU, offering a wider protection for the rights holder than an unregistered design right. To register your design and protect your work, please contact Lawdit Solicitors. Written by Saowanee Kristin, IP post- graduate law student

If you'd like to know more about this article please send an email to Michael Coyle quoting the article title and any questions you might have, alternatively call the office number on 02380 235 979 or send an enquiry through our contact form.

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