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What Protects The Intellectual Property Created By Artists Or Designers?


Nov 9, 2022

Intellectual property is a type of property formed by a person’s various ideas or intellect. In other words, it results from a person’s intellectual pursuits.

As a result, intellectual property refers to creations such as innovations, industrial product designs, literary and creative works, and symbols that are later used in business.

As an artist or designer, one should be aware of two forms of intellectual property (IP) rights: copyright and Industrial design.

Designing and creation must be safeguarded by various kinds of intellectual property rights (IPR) since they are fundamental elements of this creative skill.

Now, we will examine Copyright and Design Rights, two fundamental forms of IPR. Further, it would enable a person to determine the extent of each and take the necessary steps to safeguard their creative work.


Copyright laws protect the expression of creative ideas and not just the idea. Further, the Copyright protects the following types of original artwork.

1. a collage, sculpture, photograph, or graphic work;
2. a building or model of a building that is an architectural work; or
3. an article made with artistic skill.

It’s important to understand that while copyright law allows you to protect your design, it does not cover the article’s utilitarian aspect.

For instance, one can get the Copyright to a unique print they make for a piece of clothing. Nonetheless, the dress on which the printing was done will not be protected by Copyright.

Fashion designers can safeguard their designs for up to 15 years by taking the Copyright law into account under the Designs Act of 2000. However, suppose the designer chooses only to follow Section 15 of the copyright registration procedures and implements this registration for his use. In that case, the designer will be able to benefit only from design protection up to the article’s 50th reproduction.

Therefore, it is advised that fashion designers register their artwork following the rules of the Designs and Copyright law. This means protecting significant rights to their original works.

Industrial Design

With the introduction of the Designs Act in the year 2000, the Government of India included the advanced provision of safeguarding works with non-functional features in the domain of creative work.

Industrial design patents give the person exclusive rights for a new ornamental design of an essential functional item.

For instance, as discussed above, Copyright wouldn’t extend to the cloth. Now, if the fabric has an innovative design aspect, different from any other style, one can apply for a design patent to protect it.

Unlike Copyright, a registered design grants the proprietor the exclusive right to create the design, which means they may sue someone who infringes on their design even if it is not copied.

Further, Section 11 states that the term of the Copyright in design is ten years from registration, which may be extended further for five years. Hence, the maximum period of protection in design patents is fifteen years.

Interplay Between the Copyright and Design:

It is important to note that even though efforts have been made to clearly distinguish the rights available under the Designs and the Copyright law, however, the similarity in the works that can be provided with protection under these laws is such that there have been instances where the proprietors themselves have had confusion as to which sort of protection should they avail for the protection of their artistic works.


Protection of a design–

Maximum 15 years

Protection of an Artistic Work–

The lifetime of the creator + 60 years after his death.


Mandatory under the law to get protection


Not Mandatory.

Design capable of being registered under Designs law but not so registered also gets protection under Copyright.


How Do these Industrial Design Rights benefit you?

To protect original ideas: When someone comes up with a unique concept, others try to copy it for their financial gain. Therefore, it is essential to safeguard the IP assets before any third party breaches them illegally.

Rights Conferred on Owner: The copyright owner of a piece of artwork has the exclusive right to make copies, sell or distribute copies, prepare derivative works based on the copyrighted artwork, and publicly display the artwork.

Selling designs: If a company cannot profit directly from the design developed, it can sell it to third parties and make a profit from its design capabilities.

Creative Ideas into Profitable Assets: Intellectual property rights reward entrepreneurs and foster innovation. Ideas typically don’t have much value on their own. Intellectual property rights have a vast unmet potential to turn original ideas into profitable businesses in the modern day. You may use intellectual property registration to help you transform concepts into widely successful goods and services.

Easing the Marketing Process:

Developing brand awareness for your company requires using intellectual property. Your ability to identify your goods and services from those of other sellers and to advertise them to the right customers can be helped by intellectual property.

Artists or designers invest a lot of skill and creativity to make their work distinctive. Even if it might be difficult, ending every duplication of one’s art is not entirely impossible. This comprises:

1) Employing the © symbol on your artworks such as paintings, drawings, sculptures, etc.
2) One should register their art Under Copyright, which is soundproof of the date of creation of the art.
c) Applying for a design registration for ornamental aspects of a product with utility.
d) Taking legal action when an artist’s IPRs or moral rights are violated.

The IP laws outlined above will not only protect a person’s work once conceived but also help protect it throughout the design phase of the product. We can conclude that the artists should register artistic works applied to an article by an industrial process under the Designs to afford any protection. However, in the absence of design registration, the Copyright in such registrable designs shall cease once the design has been reproduced more than 50 times.

The post What Protects The Intellectual Property Created By Artists Or Designers? appeared first on Intepat IP.

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