Introduction to the Law relating to Creative Output: Copyright, Related Rights and Designs

Jane Lambert

Over the last few months I have been leading a series of seminars on basic intellectual property law. I presented an introduction and overview on 26 June 2013 and you can download the slides and handout from "Introduction to Intellectual Property" on 1 July 2013. On the 25 Sept 2013 I spoke about branding, that is to say passing off, trade mark registration, geographical indications and domain names. You will find my slides and handout at "Introduction to the Law relating to Branding: Passing off, Trade Marks, Geographical Indications and Domain Names" 4 Oct 2013. On the 27 of this month I shall be talking about patents, confidentiality. semiconductor topographies, plant varieties and database right and you can book for that seminar (which is the final in the series) on our Evenrbrite page.

On Wednesday the 30 Oct 2013 I presented a seminar on creative output, that is to say copyright, related rights and designs.  You can download the slides for that presentation below:

Creative Output from Jane Lambert
I also handed out some notes which you will find below.

Intellectual property is the legal protection of intellectual assets and the intellectual assets that I discussed in this talk were works of art and literature and design.  I discussed the two together for two reasons.   First, a design - particularly an ornamental or decorative design - often incorporates an artistic work.  Secondly, copyright was the way in which industrial designs were protected in the UK until 31 July 1989. Indeed, the same law applied in many other Commonwealth common law countries as well as the Republic of Ireland.

The law relating to copyrights and registered and unregistered design  was overhauled and codified by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 ("CDPA") which came into force on 1 Aug 1989. As well as updating the law of copyright, the Act introduced two new intellectual property rights:

  • Rights in performances which confer on actors, dancers, musicians, singers and other performers as well as upon their broadcasters, film or recording studios  right to object to broadcasting, filming or taping of their performances without consent; and
  • Unregistered design rights which confer upon designers or those who commission a design the exclusive right to make articles to an original design.
The CDPA also overhauled the Registered Designs Act 1949 which provided for the registration of new designs with eye appeal.

The CDPA came into force just before the internet and other digital technologies that enable any number of perfect copies of films, music and other copyright works anywhere in the world instantly. Legislatures and the courts have tried to keep pace with these technologies and there have been three important international agreements, namely the WIPO Copyright and Performances and Phonograms Treaties and TRIPs which have required parties to those agreements to revise their copyright and related laws. In the EU these changes have been implemented by a series of directives which have required wholesale amendment of the CDPA.

The other big changes of the last few years have been the harmonization of registered design law by the European design directive (Directive 98/71/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 October 1998 on the legal protection of designs) which led to yet another overhaul of the Registered Designs Act 1949 and the Community design regulation (Council Regulation (EC) No 6/2002 of 12 December 2001 on Community designs (OJ EC No L 3 of 5.1.2002, p. 1)) which provided for registered Community and unregistered Community designs.

If you want to discuss this article or these slides and handout please call me on 020 7404 5252 during office hours or use my contact form. You can also tweet me, write on my wall or send me a message through G+, Linkedin or Xing. Have a great weekend all.


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