Copyright on product design

Did you create a great product? The form you have given your product is subject to copyright. This means that others may not use these designs without your permission. So how can you prove that you are the proud owner of this exclusive right?

Philips vs Lidl

9000000012291534This summer, the court issued a verdict upholding the protection of product design by copyright. The court in The Hague passed judgement on a case involving possible infringement by the Lidl supermarket chain of a copyright held by Philips. Under its own ‘Silvercrest’ brand, Lidl had introduced an electric razor that was remarkably similar to one of Philips’ own shaving appliances. The electronics company had therefore submitted a list of 36 points which they felt imitated their product’s characteristics to the court. After careful study, the judge came to the conclusion that Lidl was indeed guilty of copyright infringement. As a result, the supermarket was prohibited from advertising or selling the electric razor and compelled to cover the costs of the lawsuit, €16,000. The judge also established a fine of €5,000 per day for each day the appliance remained in stores.

Protecting the design

Once you commit a design to paper, copyright is in effect. You do not have to do anything to make this happen – it just does, and it means you are the only person allowed to publish and reproduce that work. In order to prove that the work is your creation, it can be important to be able to demonstrate when you came into possession of the design.

Registering your design

By uploading your design into your personal CC Proof account, you are giving your creation its very own, official date of birth. This will allow you to prove that you were the first person in possession of the work – and therefore, you hold the copyright. The certificate you will be issued upon registering your document can also serve as a preventative measure. By demonstrating that your work is protected and registered, you are encouraging others to handle your work fairly. You can share your registered work securely from your personal account. The recipient will be sent a link allowing them to download the document – complete with official date stamp – once only.

Click here to begin registering your designs.