How a Copyright Lawyer Can Assist
Copyright law protect the expression of original artistic or literary work. That could include a song, a photograph, a drawing, the layout of a website, a product manual or even lines of code in a software program.
There is no registration system for copyrights in Australia and in most other jurisdictions. Instead, copyrights are automatically created upon the publication of your work. There are however specific rules dictating who owns certain copyrighted works, particularly with regards to works which have been created on commission or subject to employment. Copyrights can also be lost in some cases involving the industrial application of 3D designs and in those circumstances design registration should be sought to ensure protection of IP is maintained.
If you are a graphic designer, website developer or fashion label, it pays to have an experienced IP practitioner on hand who can advise you on the myriad of IP issues you are likely to encounter as they arise. We would like to be that partner for you.
You can read more about how copyright operates and our copyright services here.
A Registered Design provides you with rights to take action against other traders who may have copied the look or physical appearance of your product. A design could be a 2D pattern or ornamentation applied to a product or the 3D shape and configuration of an object. Registered designs are commonly utilised in the fashion, industrial and manufacturing industries as a deterrent and as a powerful cause of action against copycats and coattail riders.
In order to be certified (and therefore enforceable), a design must be new and distinctive when compared to the prior art base, which encompasses any pre-existing product which may be discovered, whether or not it is already registered as a design. The more unique a design, the greater the scope for enforcement. Therefore, the careful drafting of the design application is crucial to ensure that the unique and distinctive features of the design are hilighted in favour of any more generic features.
We can assist with any of the following areas regarding designs and intellectual copyright:
- Design Registration: We can attend to the lodgement and processing of your application on your behalf to maximise the prospects of obtaining an enforceable certified design. This includes preliminary design register searches, drafting your design application, requesting examination, and dealing with any objections which may be raised. You might also want to consider our 10 Tips to Secure Powerful Enforceable Designs before deciding whether design registration is right for you.
- Y Watch Design Monitoring: This is an excellent tool for designers working with FMCGs (fast moving consumer goods) and will allow you to obtain a regularly updated snapshot of any newly registered designs which may compete or may potentially pose an infringement risk. In particular, Y Watch will allow you to readily identify who are the parties who are actively registering designs in your field and to either focus on particular design owners or more generally to cover the full range of similar products in your industry.
- Copyright Protection: We offer detailed and practical advice regarding protection, ownership and assertion of copyright as well as remedies available to you where your intellectual copyright may have been infringed.
- Commercial Agreements: We can assist with drafting or review of any IP related agreements dealing with the right to use or transfer of ownership of your design, copyright or other IP rights. We also frequently assist with preparation of trading terms dealing with IP rights for graphic designers, website developers, publishers and fashion labels.