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How do you protect your designs, if you do? [message #29598] Fri, 24 June 2011 13:24 UTC Go to next message
avatar joie  is currently offline joie
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Do you protect your designs?[ 15 vote(s) ]
1.I don't care at all 4 / 27%
2.I didn't even think about it! 3 / 20%
3.I only protect designs made to be sold 1 / 7%
4.I only protect product designs 0 / 0%
5.I protect all of my designs 5 / 33%
6.Do you really think someone will stole my designs? 1 / 7%
7. 1 / 7%

Hi there;

I am curious to know what do you do with your designs, Do you protect/register/copyright them?, and if so, Where?.

Thank you for your input.


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Re: How do you protect your designs, if you do? [message #29600 is a reply to message #29598 ] Fri, 24 June 2011 14:06 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar stop4stuff  is currently offline stop4stuff
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Once published and available to the public, anyones' designs have 'Unregistered Design Rights' protecting the design - even text on a web page is 'published' and therefore has copyright protection.

The only times that any design needs any special registered protection is if the design is a 'new invention' worthy of patenting, and even then to patent something means the patentee needs the financial backing to pursue any patent infringement.

Generally, just publishing something on the internet is enough to be able to slap a take down or cease and desist notice on any 'offenders'.

My vote would be for 'I know the score, so it doesn't bother me until I need to act' Wink

Re: How do you protect your designs, if you do? [message #29604 is a reply to message #29600 ] Fri, 24 June 2011 15:25 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar mctrivia  is currently offline mctrivia
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I protect everything I make. I have written lots of programs under GPL or MIT license. Both give the software away for free so I make no money off them but they prevent others from saying they made it instead of they used it.

I have even published 3d models on thingiverse.com for free for non profit uses. Even 1 of the models in my shop is available there for anyone with there own 3d printer. http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:5256

Copyright is not just for things you want to make money off. It is to prevent people from saying they made it then trying to get you to pay them or stop making your product.


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Re: How do you protect your designs, if you do? [message #29609 is a reply to message #29604 ] Fri, 24 June 2011 17:06 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar alienology  is currently offline alienology
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I would recommend for all to learn more about this.
Also - search this forum - I think there was good thread about this topic.

Copyright is generally for artwork, music etc... you can't copyright functional object (there are some exceptions for jewelry - but this again goes for decorative aspect of it - not functional)
So you can copyright a photo of the object - but that does not mean object is copyrighted.

So you are stuck with patents... there are "Utility" patents and "design" patents. "Design" patents are protecting just exact likeness of the object. Not general idea.
"Utility" patents are general protection - and it certainly can be denied if examiner (yes, there is real human examiner who will look at it) decides there is patent out there already covering similar thing (say, specific clasp for jewelry)

Currently - you can expect about 1.5 to 2 years of wait to get the patent. (in USA). So doing patent is not for faint of heart.
And it certainly means that - if you don't have money to pursue court action - patent is not big protection in itself - but it will give you crucial advantage in case of lawsuit (but, again... make sure you have $$$ to get to court in the first place.

In short - patents are not very designer friendly at all. It's a system that badly needs fixing.
But if you think you are somehow protected just by saying "copyright" - no you are not, not at all.

For reference, I worked for medical company for eye cornea related device design - patent and attorney costs to get patent were about 75.000 $ and it took 2 years. Of course medical industry is extreme example, they sure have money - but they really do NOTHING before they secure patents, because such protection is very important there.

One thing you need to know about having patent... if, say, big company such as "Kartell" wants to license your 3d printed lamp - you are in MUCH better position to negotiate better licensing deal if you have a patent (or can prove you applied for one - so called "patent pending"). Such big companies will not talk to you without it most of the time... or will ask you to give them full permanent rights instead of license.

So hey.. good luck.


Re: How do you protect your designs, if you do? [message #29612 is a reply to message #29609 ] Fri, 24 June 2011 17:22 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar mctrivia  is currently offline mctrivia
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you can't copyright a functional object however 3d printing is an interesting gray area. what we design is a digital file saying how it can be made. this digital file can be copywriten and there have been models taken off thingiverse do to copyright infringement.

Does a copyright stop anyone form copying you? only legit people
Does a copyright protect you? Yes it protects you from people trying to patent or copyright your ideas in there name.

Will a patent stop people from copying you? Yes but only for 20 years and only as long as you can enforce the patent yourself. I have a few designs based on expired patents on products no longer available from original creators. I also have 1 design that I immediately took down when I found out it was patented though I did get permission from patent holder to sell 1 copy of the die only. So some times you can get around a patent if you ask nicely.

[Updated on: Fri, 24 June 2011 17:27 UTC]


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Re: How do you protect your designs, if you do? [message #29614 is a reply to message #29612 ] Fri, 24 June 2011 17:35 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar alienology  is currently offline alienology
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@mctrivia > that's a good point and definitely grey zone...

but... still... what you, as a designer, ideally want to protect is particular design idea. So the fact that you can copyright certain digital file is great... but it will NOT protect you from someone else simply looking at your design and making his own digital file which will look the same. (or very similar).. and putting it up for sale. It's not that same digital file - even though it looks the same. Or making same looking thing in any other way.

Patent would give you such protection in court.

It is great that Thingverse took infringing objects down on their own initiative (I wish everyone is like that) - but, in real court - this would not stand - your digital file was copyrighted and at least somewhat protected - but your design idea is not protected.

3D printing is opening whole new can of worms here... it's pretty messy out there.
Best thing is ... be fast and invent ever new things - so by the time they rip you off > you have tons more new stuff. Smile

We can hope!
Re: How do you protect your designs, if you do? [message #29626 is a reply to message #29614 ] Fri, 24 June 2011 18:22 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar stop4stuff  is currently offline stop4stuff
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With this day of the interweb, one cannot rely upon whatevers country's patent/copyright laws for protection. For instance, in the USA an idea may be patented, yet in the UK the patent is only issued for a physical product of which there is a working prototype. Patents are worth diddly squat anyway, as a 'patent applied for' item has limited time protection (which costs considerably less than a full patent), and to fight a patent claim is going to cost a lot of money... patents are only worth following through if you have the financial backing to fund a claim against a breach of the patent.

A physical product, or 3D representation can have design rights... the look of the item is protected, whether the design is registered or not.


Re: How do you protect your designs, if you do? [message #29653 is a reply to message #29626 ] Fri, 24 June 2011 21:06 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Drawn-SteelHero  is currently offline Drawn-SteelHero
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Here's the IPO's webpage on design rights in the UK, which I think is most applicable to us here...

http://www.ipo.gov.uk/types/design.htm
Re: How do you protect your designs, if you do? [message #29656 is a reply to message #29598 ] Fri, 24 June 2011 22:48 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar tebee  is currently offline tebee
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Yes - but design rights only apply in the UK so there is nothing to stop me copying your design as long as I don't try and sell it in the UK

[Updated on: Fri, 24 June 2011 22:48 UTC]

Re: How do you protect your designs, if you do? [message #29672 is a reply to message #29656 ] Sat, 25 June 2011 06:24 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar stop4stuff  is currently offline stop4stuff
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A list of countries who participate in International Copyright treaties can be found here, as you can see there are not many countries not signed into the Berne Convention. The Berne Convention is the foundation for many local and international laws regarding artistic copyright.

I'm no lawyer though Wink

Re: How do you protect your designs, if you do? [message #29673 is a reply to message #29672 ] Sat, 25 June 2011 07:33 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar tebee  is currently offline tebee
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Yes, but just because a country has singed up to the Berne Convention it does not give you an extension to your UK design rights there.

Design rights is an extension to the copyright regime and if my county has not implemented a similar extension or has implemented differently, like Design Patents in the US, I have still not broken the law in my country by copying your design. So you could prevent me from importing what I had made into the UK, but not selling it to the other 2 billion people in the rest of the world.

You would be within you rights to lobby the government in my country to change the law to protect you, but even then they may refuse to accept a UK law.

Also be aware that Design Rights only covers the artistic elements of a design, not the functional ones. So something like your Telephone box would not be covered as it is a model of an existing design and therefore lack originality.

Note that I'm not arguing this from a moral standpoint, merely a legal one, if you are reliant on design rights to protect you you have feet of clay.
Re: How do you protect your designs, if you do? [message #29731 is a reply to message #29598 ] Sun, 26 June 2011 09:33 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar joie  is currently offline joie
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Ahm I guess this is a more complicated topic than I thought in first place...

First, I don't know if is there a good way to know if your design is "unique".

Second, you can register your design but that doesn't prevent anyone from copy it.

So, I guess I can register my design only to not to put things easy to others, but that won't guarantee anything.

Thank you for your answers guys Smile


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Re: How do you protect your designs, if you do? [message #29732 is a reply to message #29731 ] Sun, 26 June 2011 09:57 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar tebee  is currently offline tebee
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Well if your design is sufficiently artistic and original and does not have a functional use then you might be able claim it is as sculpture and so be protected by copyright automatically.

But if is a functional item that has some nice design elements you would probably need to go down the registering my design route. But normally this only give you protection in the country you register in and we live in a global market place.

So you have to register in each country you want to protect the design in. I would suspect that commercial value of most of the items on here is less than the cost of registering in one country let alone several.

If your item is model, like most of mine, you have virtually no protection as, by virtue of it being a model of something else, it lacks originality - simply changing the size of something does not make it an artistic creation.

Yes it's a minefield and 3-d objects or much less well protected than the drawings they are made from !
Re: How do you protect your designs, if you do? [message #29745 is a reply to message #29732 ] Sun, 26 June 2011 21:31 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar stop4stuff  is currently offline stop4stuff
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Most of my designs are original, and can easily be classed as 'sculptures', albeit small.

What sort of category would a kinetic sculpture come under (art or functional)?
Re: How do you protect your designs, if you do? [message #29746 is a reply to message #29598 ] Sun, 26 June 2011 21:57 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar tebee  is currently offline tebee
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My best guess is that if it's a a kinetic sculpture that does nothing but looks pretty, then it's a work of art and protected by copyright, but if it is something that performs a useful function as it's primary purpose but also looks cool while doing it then it's not.

And of course there are any number of shades of gray between those two - One of the main problems with copyright is so much of it is vague and unsure - the only way of finding out is to go to court.

Which brings us to the next point - if one of our designs was infringed on how many of us could afford to take it to court? And if we did how many of us could show losses that we could claim that would make the costs worthwhile.

Of course one other thing that might need to be tested in court is if a machine produced item can ever be called a sculpture/work of art.
Re: How do you protect your designs, if you do? [message #29747 is a reply to message #29746 ] Sun, 26 June 2011 22:21 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar stop4stuff  is currently offline stop4stuff
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tebee wrote on Sun, 26 June 2011 21:57

...snip....

Of course one other thing that might need to be tested in court is if a machine produced item can ever be called a sculpture/work of art.


My take on that would be the same as a literary work created by the author, and printed by machine. A digital camera is a machine, computers are machines and published digital photographs still have natural copyright protection.

What I'm thinking is that no matter the method of creation, it is the artist's concept seeing the light of day (literary, sculpture, work of art, etc) that is protected under copyright... whether that's right or not is a different matter.





Re: How do you protect your designs, if you do? [message #29751 is a reply to message #29747 ] Mon, 27 June 2011 02:54 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar tebee  is currently offline tebee
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stop4stuff wrote on Sun, 26 June 2011 22:21



My take on that would be the same as a literary work created by the author, and printed by machine. A digital camera is a machine, computers are machines and published digital photographs still have natural copyright protection.

.........





That would be very much my take on it too, but again it's something that may have to be tested n a court of law to get a definitive answer and one more layer of uncertainty you would have to conceder before bringing any case.

You would need the advice of a good lawyer and that is a hard thing to find, as too many of them prefer to tell a client what that client wants to hear - especially if this coincides with maximising the lawyers fees !

Remember too that photography has always involved the use of a machine and there was much argument in the early days about whether it could be considered an art as it was using science to capture nature.
Re: How do you protect your designs, if you do? [message #29759 is a reply to message #29751 ] Mon, 27 June 2011 07:10 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar stop4stuff  is currently offline stop4stuff
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As far as laywers go, I've a slight advantage. My wife is a paralegal & knows a good copyright laywer. We discussed this matter last night and she is going ask specifically if 3D printed works can be considered art in their own right.

Re: How do you protect your designs, if you do? [message #29979 is a reply to message #29759 ] Thu, 30 June 2011 17:57 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Maethius  is currently offline Maethius
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US Copyright & Trademark Office; I register to protect my intellectual property, it's cheaper than a patent, you get it faster, and it is very enforceable. If you can afford a patent, go for it! If not, go copyright! If you can't afford that, print a copy of your property, mail it to yourself (don't open it when it arrives!), store the letter, and publish a watermarked/digimarked version online in a place like this... you at least have some protection that way, but someone can always claim Accidental Infringement.

(It just so happens I am looking into production of formerly licensed, terminated and abandoned trademark intellectual properties right now)
Re: How do you protect your designs, if you do? [message #29981 is a reply to message #29979 ] Thu, 30 June 2011 18:13 UTC Go to previous message
avatar stop4stuff  is currently offline stop4stuff
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Check out the costs and time for 'Patent applied for' items... it cheaper than a full patent and gives the same protection for a shorter term.

Easiest way to copyright a work is to publish it on the internet - everything is time, date & IP address stamped on upload.

(and wifey has just admitted she's forgotten to ask about the relevance of 3D printed items as works of art)


 
   
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