|02 August 2016|
Image credit: Eugene DeSalignac 1914
Supporting the Oct 2014 design law change that made it illegal to blatantly copy any registered design, additional good news has arrived for the UK design sector in the shape of the repeal of section 52 of the Copyright, Designs and Patent act 1988. The repeal came into force on July 28th 2016 and stipulates that as of 28 January 2017 it will be illegal for retailers and manufacturers to produce or sell any replicas (fakes) or unlicensed copies of an original design that relied on the previous copyright protection having expired.
Designs of artistic merit (craftsmanship) previously only benefited from 25 years copyright protection. The repeal of section 52 means that designs made after 1988 will revert to copyright protection for 70 years post the Creators death. Their families will now continue to benefit from their work under a formally granted license. Manufacturers and retailers must sell or destroy any replicas or unlicensed works by the end of January 2017 or obtain a formal license from the rights owner. This will also apply to images of the designs.
Under fair use terms (educational purposes or permitted media news coverage) usage of imagery is likely to be permitted, all other use including commercial book publishing or public presentations, articles, blogs, use on commercial web sites and so on, will require express permission to use under a license agreement.
The same terms actually exist already in context of the use of imagery owned by the Creator and or where the photographer retains copyright. However, most image owners (excluding photographers) tend not to enforce those rights, largely due to the time and cost of administration or lack of commercial transaction advantage. Currently image owners can use Creative barcode IP Tags to communicate creator, owner and usage terms and simply insert a bespoke IP Rights identifier into the image linking to vital IP information e.g. IP Rights: http://c-b.me/2ef
The live digital copyright notice replaces a static copyright notice and becomes a travelling advert for the designer, photographer and brand owner.
And likewise the Product Markings’ legal change implemented in late 2015 now allows a web address such as Design rights – http://c-b.me/1hu to link to the current status of a registered design. The use of a live design status notice eliminates the time and cost of product recall and re-print of labeling and packaging when a design registration expires.
However, whilst all of these positive changes have been instigated by the IPO, the live IP Rights and design rights notices produced by Creative Barcode and the news announced by Government, the legal sector and design representative bodies, designers themselves appear not to have noticed the positive changes or the simple and low cost methods available to them.
Once designers realize both the cost savings and the opportunity to turn licensing of unregistered designs and design imagery into free advertising and an income generator, they might take advantage of the benefits.
Post Brexit, the UK has a great opportunity to Innovate in the Intellectual Property sector > more