With the advent of digitalization, everything has become more transparent in terms of privacy. We have become so used to sharing our lives on the internet that it is very important to be on our toes at all times. Cyber theft is one such instance that you should be careful of. Especially for intellectual properties, protecting your ownership is of topmost priority. Hence, it is very essential to get your work Copyrighted. “Copyright is a form of protection provided by the Indian legislature to authors/ owners of original works of authorship from the time the works are created and expressed in a tangible form”.
Copyright is a right which subsists in a number of different kinds of works such as literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works, sound recording and cinematograph films. The Copyright Act, 1957 as amended in 2012, supplemented by the Copyright Rules, 2013, with subsequent amendments, is the governing law for copyright protection in India, whereas copyright on designs in India is governed by Designs act 2000 as amended by Designs act 2014.
WHAT IS DESIGN COPYRIGHT?
Anything that anyone creates is their intellectual property. Copyright law is the law that protects our Intellectual Property Rights from unauthorized copying and misuse. Design copyright is the way to protect your original creation from infringement. The Designs Act, 2000 is the textbook guideline for all Design related Copyright. A design for a new product can revolutionize your industry, and the right logo design can help your business stand out in the crowd. Copyright law, however, only protects intellectual property that is fixed in a tangible form — such as a book, piece of art or movie — so many designs can’t be copyrighted. To determine whether your design is covered by copyright law, you’ll need to figure out whether your design can be fixed in some tangible form.
COPYRIGHT FOR A REGISTERED DESIGN
Copyright in an industrial design is governed by the Designs Act 2000. If a design is registered under that Act, it is not eligible for protection under the Copyright Act. In the case of a design which is capable of being registered under the Designs Act, but not so registered, copyright will subsist under the Copyright Act, but it will cease to exists as soon as any article to which the design has been applied has been reproduced more than 50 times by an industrial process by the owner of the Copyright or with his license by any other person. It would, therefore, follow that those industrial designs which are not registrable under the Designs Act get protection under the Copyright Act provided it comes within the scope of section 13 of the Act as original Artistic works. According to Section 11 of Designs Act 2000, when a design is registered the proprietor of the design shall have copyright in the design during ten years from the date of registration which can be extended to five more years.
To be eligible for protection, your design will have to be represented in some tangible object. For example, if you come up with a new purse design and then create the purse, you’ll need to copyright the purse. By doing so, you’ll also be copyrighting the design. Further, your design will have to be original. You can’t, for example, add some glitter to someone else’s purse design and then copyright it.
The following category of work can be registered, under Design Copyright:
- The architectural design of any structure
- Fashion design
RIGHTS TO PROTECT A COPYRIGHTED DESIGNER
A Copyrighted designer is vested with the following rights –
- the right to make copies,
- the right to sell or distribute copies,
- the right to prepare derivative works based on the copyrighted work,
- the right to publicly display the work.
REGISTRATION PROCESS: COPYRIGHT FOR DESIGN
- Filling the Application
- Examination of application: it is scrutinized by an examiner of authority.
- In case of an objection: filed the authorities send out letters to the concerned parties.
- Registration: Once everything is cleared from the side of registrar’s end the applicant received and owner of that copyright can legally exercise all rights of copyright.
- Required information for the registration of Copyright
- Personal Information: – Name, address, and nationality of the applicant. Nature of the applicant whether he is owner and representative of that particular application.
- Nature of work: – Class & description, the title of the work. The language of the work should be mention in the application.
- Date of Publication: – If the possible date of publication in interval magazines should be mention.
THE OVERLAP BETWEEN DESIGNS AND COPYRIGHT
The dual protection or the issue of overlap between the design and copyright has been addressed in Section 15 of the Copyright Act. The section lays down that copyright is not going to subsist in a design that has been registered under the Designs Act, 2000. Therefore when a design is registered under the Designs Act, the person has to forego his rights under the Copyright Act.
The contention arises where if the design is not registered under the Designs Act, and the article is reproduced more than 50 times by any industrial process, then the copyright of the owner in the article’s design ceases.
In Microfibres Inc vs Girdhar & Co & Anr, it was held that if there is an artistic painting and the design created out of it is not registered and reproduced 50 times, only the copyright of the design will be waived and the copyright in the original work i.e. the painting would continue to subsist. The intention of the legislature was inferred as giving more importance to the original work of the author and fewer merits to an industrially produced design. The fact that the Copyright Act doesn’t exclusively recognise any copyright that is applied to an article’s design gives birth to an issue i.e. faulty application.
In a subsequent case of Ritika Private Limited vs Biba Apparels Private Ltd, this ruling was applied straightforwardly. Ritu, the plaintiff, did not register her sketches or drawings under the Designs Act and the reproduction exceeded 50 times. She was denied any protection against infringement by the defendants both under the Copyright Act and Designs Act.
Whereas in the case of Rajesh Masrani vs Tahiliani Design Pvt Ltd, just because the copies hadn’t crossed the required number i.e. 50, the plaintiff was granted protection against the infringing activity. These examples bring about the dilemma these provisions create. The issue of copyright has to be decided as an artistic piece comes into existence.
Copyright has always been treated as an inherent right of the artist as no mandatory registration is required whereas under the Designs Act a design needs to be compulsorily registered for acquiring protection under the Act. This principle has been followed since a long time is violated by the present objective application of the court’s approach.
- Ritika Private Limited v Biba Apparels Private Limited MANU/DE/0784/2016
- Microfibres Inc v Girdhar& Co &Anr MANU/DE/0647/2009
- Holland Company LP v S.P. Industries MANU/DE/2126/2017
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING IN THE SAME, DO LET ME KNOW.
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