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At a loss on how to move forward


#1

Every few months for the past 18 months, I have been knocking on the
door of a rather prestigious museum to offer my line of jewelry. I
am used to rejection, but I hadn’t given up and whenever something
looked promising at the museum that was remotely related to my line,
I would make another attempt. I was continually sent rejection
notices (which is nothing new).

However, just two days ago I walked into the museum store to see
work that is almost exactly like mine. So close to what I am doing
that someone called me and congratulated me on being in the museum.

I am at a loss for words and while I doubt there is anything I can
do, I am wondering how other artists have dealt with having their
designs so blatantly used by others and to a greater success?

Thanks;

Carolyn Tillie


#2

call upon the museum owner and confront them over the fact the other
artist plagiarized your work…then ask just who that artist is? I
feel your frustration…:frowning:

if that artist copied your work and made some little modifications
to it, you can’t do anything about it, pity!..and who said life is
fair?..gerry!


#3

Contact the museum’s legal department and inform them of the
potential copy right infringement(s) providing as much proof as you
can to verify that you were first, at the very least this will get
them to notice that someone is being ripped off, then it’s just a
matter of trying to figure out who it is.

Sorry but there really isn’t any easy(er) way to go forward from
this point IMO.

Take the above with a large grain of salt, I’m neither a lawyer or
an American…

Cheers, Thomas Janstrom.
Little Gems.
http://tjlittlegems.com


#4
I am wondering how other artists have dealt with having their
designs so blatantly used by others and to a greater success? 

Without knowing the history of the other artist it is hard to know
if it is “blatant” or coincidence. Seems like some of your work is
for a very specific niche market, I have no idea of the “greater
success” of the other artist. I showed my wife your post and your
bento box series, she thinks something smells fishy.

Richard Hart G.G.
Denver, Co.


#5

Dear Carolyn,

Some thoughts:

  1. To quote a figure from antiquity, there’s really nothing new
    under the sun.

Parallel evolution of design is therefore always possible, because
there can never be such a thing as a design that is 100% original in
all its particulars.

Therefore accusations of copying, whether its art or engineering,
will only be seen by others as stemming from egotism.

  1. Once is coincidence, twice is suspect, three times is enemy
    action. Unless you have more incidents from this same museum, you are
    still at the coincidence stage, in which case you may need to hand
    the museum additional rope to hang itself with.

  2. My grandmother, may she rest in peace, gave me this sage advice
    which I constantly ignored until now, when it is far too late to do
    anything about it:

it is not what you know but who you know.

The reason you are being rejected could therefore not be based
anything at all on the merits of your designs, but because you are
not yet close friends with the right people at that museum. And, you
might never get to be close= friends with the right people, because
you and they most likely will not ever tr= avel in the same social
circles.

I doubt that’s anything you can really work yourself into anger
over, because the chances of any middle class person like us getting
to influence a holder of the levers of power (such as the trustee of
a museum’s endowment) are unlikely in the extreme.

  1. Suppose someone at the museum did copy your design three times.
    Just what can you do about that, legally or morally? Nothing.
    Complain, and it makes you look like a pouting child. Sue, and you can
    even lose your shirt being continuanced to death.

  2. I think it is a tactical mistake to be approaching the same
    museum whenever they show something close to your work. They might
    see the shoe as being on the other foot: that you are approaching them
    with what they see as some thing derivative relative to what is
    already being shown.

  3. I think approaching museums is a mistake. You should instead shop
    your work where the rich gather, which is no longer museums, but
    resorts and spasand other hangouts. We’ve been replaying The Gilded
    Age since the 90’s, and we have been for quite a while.

Competence doesn’t matter, work ethic doesn’t matter, nothing
matters for getting ahead except being closely related to money and
power. Therefore, getting ahead doesn’t matter, because it’s based on
all the wrong values anyway.

Therefore, the best way to move on is to recognize that all is
illusion, including success, because you will lose certainly pieces
of yourself along the way. Best to simply make your art and not be
concerned about what the rest of world thinks.

Andrew Jonathan Fine


#6

First there are many similar discussions in the Ganoksin archives
about infringement, copyrighting work, etc. I suggest you begin
there to find divers opinions on the topics. but.

If your work is trademarked and copyrighted and the work in the
museum is exactly the same as yours (same materials, titles, etc.)
then you have cause for litigation and should pursue it. If you sent
the un - trademarked, non copyrighted portfolio or catalogue to the
museum’s gift shop’s director - without any solicitation for works on
their part nor having any copyrighted designs enclosed,
nor non compete and non - disclosure forms (that they could elect to
sign, but being unsolicited sales / marketing materials were not
obligated to do so since you sent the materials blindly).

Anyone’s granddaughter, or the curator could begin making polymer
clay “gastronomic” jewelry and setting it in bezels, neither of which
is unique on it’s own as parts - their combination in a specific way
unique to your work would then be infringement on your intellectual
properties. In fact your Sterling Silver Maki chopstick earrings in
fact much of the Bento Box Collection on your site smacks way too
similar to Todd Reed’s rough diamond cube settings and his style on
which he has become famous. I would be careful about coming so close
to his work in design parameters - yses he uses gold and silver and
rough cubes of gem material but you are also using the trademarked
stampings around the cubes of what appears to be plastic or clay you
are setting into.

I asked a student that is here to take a look at your site a few
minutes ago. His first comment was “It looks like this person is
trying to do todd Reed in clay!” - so there you have it, a novice
jewelry maker that has just been at it a dfew months opinion that
your work is an attempt at "knocking off T. Reed! It’s all perception
in that regard. trademarking though and brand or copyright
infringement is risky and potentially high ticcket fines if you were
to be accused of stealing his extremely copyrighted and trademarked,
and widely recognized work. Reed could easily argue you are copying
his work for profit.

Without your having taken previous action to protect your work
though, I’m sorry to say you haven’t a leg to stand on legally. If
you exhibit locally or have your work in other places and don’t have
it trademarked or some small sign in your both saying no photographs
of copyrighted work, or somehow communicating that the designs are
your own and any reproduction constitutes fraud or copyright
infringements you can expect someone may reproduce similar items if
appealing. Have you researched others doing similar works to yours?
How many are doing that kind of work and when they began, etc? All
those things bear directly on the recourse you have, or they may
have against you. there is something called in academic circles -
spontaneous generation that says the same [thing] can occur at two
different places at one time. much jewelry is like that and why
trademarking or otherwise legally protecting your intellectual and
tangible property is so important when wholesaling it.

By the way do you have permission to use Pierre Herme Paris
Macaroons name? i sure don’t see anywhere on your site where you have
that permission to use their name or trademarked representation of
their confection, nor do I see any copyright info on your work. So
before getting upset over the travesty you think has happened, make
sure your legal obligations and protection is in place, as well as a
business license, . then i click on the buy it here link on your site
and voila - Etsy. if you don’t announce it is protected and
copyrighted them you can’t expect a site that attracts crafters to
not have people that take your ideas and incorporate them into what
they may have been doing before you began. when they started could be
the issue - as is when you started. But when looking at the whole
picture I’m seeing as I click further into your work, i see a few
clearly litigious matters that would hold you legally resposible for
infringements all over the place! Sorry to be so blunt, but i think
you ned a serving of blunt. You can’t just use manufacturers names
without permission, you can’t adapt something like todd reed’s
signature settings and because theyy are in plastic or clay not
expect to have an eyebrow raised - by his legal team.

The champagne series - particularly the Feuilatte cufflinks would
make me as a couselor for the company send out a cease and desist
order immediately - not only is it quality work but is capitalizing
on a brand name that they own. I would seriously take a look at the
brands you are using and request their permission before offering
anymore for sale. They are not found objects one could argue - easily

  • but intentional representations of the brands that you have used
    without permission (i’m betting) but in attempts towards making a
    profit due to the brand recognition. Not that the work is not good,
    or high quality but is blatant infringement all over your site in
    all kinds of pieces. I would temporarily shut down the site(s) and do
    some legal homework before someone, particularly the champagne brand
    owners get a gander at what you are doing. Unless you are
    independently wealthy or have extremely good personal liability
    insurance in place at this time (meaning before today and from when
    your work was offered for sale). I dare not click through more of
    your site at this point!!! Suffice it to say - be prepared to be hit
    with some lofty penalties and legal suits if you continue to use the
    things you are using for profit without solid measures in place to
    protect your assets. . rer

#7
I am at a loss for words and while I doubt there is anything I can
do, I am wondering how other artists have dealt with having their
designs so blatantly used by others and to a greater success? 

I’m sorry to hear it, that must be so discouraging… I don’t have
any good advise for You as I’ve never been in that situation… I
think what I would do is ask a better question: Could You design a
line exclusively targeted to some theme in that museum that the other
jeweler hasn’t done? What You have working in Your favor Is Your
wealth of creativity and ideas… I bet if You put Your mind to it
You could out think this person and stay one step ahead; especially
if You believe they stole your original ideas to begin with. In fact
I would make it an expectation to get my work in there if I were You.
That would make You feel less resentful and more empowered. Keep up
the beautiful work!!! Show them who’s who!! Mary R : )


#8
In fact your Sterling Silver Maki chopstick earrings in fact much
of the Bento Box Collection on your site smacks way too similar to
Todd Reed's rough diamond cube settings and his style on which he
has become famous. 

Boy. I’m not sure if I’ve been living in isolation for too long, but
of all the Todd Reed work I’ve seen (and it’s a fair amount), none of
it even remotely reminds me of Carolyn’s work. The only similarities
I see are things enclosed in a frame… (well, bezels have been
around for a bit long than Todd, and I doubt he can claim inventing a
heavy wall bezel or frame), and the fact that those frames have a
hammered or chased texture. Again, that’s hardly unique to Todd. In
fact, from the work of Todd’s that I’ve seen, that texture on the
frame is not the same as Carolyns, which is cross pein hammered,
while Todd’s appears to be a more uniform and precise chasing tool
used to set the cube diamonds. Also, Todd sets natural diamonds.
Carolyn is setting (or so it appears) plastic and polymer clay
miniatures that I expect she purchases on the commercial market, or
with some, perhaps makes herself. I’d say there’s not much similarity
in look, aesthetics, or “artistic statement” between the two.

but you are also using the trademarked stampings around the cubes 

Doesn’t look like it to me. Carolyn’s texture appears to be
hammered, a crosspein or riveting hammer. Todds looks like a narrow
chasing tool used to set the diamonds as much as texture the metal.
Some similarity, yes, but infringement? I don’t think so.

If Carolyn’s work infringes on Todds, then any of us leaving any
sort of hammer or tool texture on metal anywhere near any non-metal
object, stone, or whatever, that the metal surrounds, is in deep
doo-doo.

By the way do you have permission to use Pierre Herme Paris
Macaroons name? 

Does she need it? She’s not made that little box. It’s a commercially
available collectable (as are a number of the other whimsical items
she sets in her work). If anyone needed that permission, it would be
the manufacturer of the collectable. It doesn’t seem to me that for
Carolyn to purchase an item and use it in her jewelry would then
require additional levels of permission. I could be wrong here, but
it doesn’t seem so to me. It would be different if she were the
manufacturer of that little collectable item. Then she’d need
permission. But for Carolyn to use that item, which presumably
already is made with permission, should be a fair and honest use of
the thing, I’d think.

Etsy. if you don't announce it is protected and copyrighted them
you can't expect a site that attracts crafters to not have people
that take your ideas and incorporate them into what they may have
been doing before you began. 

Now, this IS a valid point. Nowhere on Carolyns site did I notice
copyright notices, nor on the Etsy site. To a degree, as has been
noted in prior threads on Orchid, copyright exists when you make an
original work. But defending that right is a whole lot more difficult
if no notice is given. This would be especially true since Carolyn is
using found or purchased items as the feature “gems” in her work.
Their use in jewelry is likely different from the intended original
use as imagined by their manufacturer, and perhaps this new use then
is copyrightable. But without that notice, it would be hard to
defend, especially if the exact little collectables being used were
not quite the same.

You can't just use manufacturers names without permission, 

But I’m pretty sure you CAN use a manufacturer’s products you’ve
purchased or found on the open public market, in your own work. If I
buy a bunch of nuts and bolts at the hardware store, I don’t need the
manufacturer’s permission to use them in a product I make with them,
even if the bolts have a trademark brand name on them. I don’t see
this situation as any different. And that includes the champaigne
corks or whatever those medallions are. Again, I’m quite sure
Carolyn is not making them. They look like the genuine thing, used as
found objects. The manufacturer, not Carolyn, put the names on the
things. If I buy an item and wish to resell it on etsy or ebay, I
don’t need the manufacturer’s permission to sell something with their
name in most cases.

you can't adapt something like todd reed's signature settings and
because theyy are in plastic or clay not expect to have an eyebrow
raised - by his legal team. 

Agreed. But Carolyn’s settings do not, at least to me, resemble
Todds. Not even all that similar in the texture, much less the
overall look. Todd is using raw elemental diamonds in dramatic,
elegant rough hewn luxurious metal. Carolyn’s work is much more about
whimsy, and perhaps humor. Simpler, and fun, mostly in far less
costly and more muted silver. Again, this changes the whole
character of the work. All in all, the two bodies of work are very
different, at least for me.

The champagne series - particularly the Feuilatte cufflinks would
make me as a couselor for the company send out a cease and desist
order immediately - not only is it quality work but is
capitalizing on a brand name that they own 

yeah. using a product they made, and sold. That puts that product,
which Carolyn has reset into cufflinks, in the public market. Not the
name, just the actual product. For her to reset them doesn’t infringe
on the manufacturer’s rights. This assumes that I’m correct that
those cufflinks are set with genuine possibly antique (?) enamel or
glass or whatever medallions that originally came from that company.
If Carolyn indeed did the enamelling herself, then of course that’s a
problem for her. But I don’t think that’s the case.

Note. I’m not a lawyer. So don’t take legal advice from this post.
But I do rather think my eye’s still sort of work reasonably well.
And at least from what I saw, I’m not seeing enough of a resemblance
to even suspect that Todd’s work had an influence on Carolyn, much
less that she’s imitating or copying him.

However, it should be noted that the use of odd collectable items,
or found objects, or various whimsical cultural symbols or whatever,
is somewhat common. More than a few artists I’m familiar with use
things other than just fine gems and precious metal to make jewelry.
Some of them do indeed use some items that, while not the same as
Carolyn’s choices invoke the same sorts of impressions of whimsy.

One I know, for example, does neat little earrings and other jewelry
featuring the various little figurines and a few other parts that
come with Lego toys. Another casts the little figures from model
train accessories into silver and has the resulting little silver or
gold figures scampering around her wirework jewelry. Yet another cuts
Barbie dolls apart into bits and pieces and sets various assortments
of Barbie body parts into her work. And what about a certain well
known Maine artist who’s pins often used things like discarded soda
bottle caps or bullet casings or other such found bits and pieces?
And there are many more.

The point here is that using commercially available neato little
things does impose some limits on how original the ideas can be, if
the whole point to the works seems mostly based on the items used
rather than on a more complex message or symbolism that the items
might be used to represent (like in the case of those Barbie body
parts). The same is true with gems. If you want your diamond ring to
be actually creative and different from those of everyone else,
you’re gonna have to do something more than just strap the rock to
the finger with a head and shank.

While it might bring a grin to my face to see someone who’s ring
strapped an imitation piece of Sushi to the finger, perhaps making a
statement about what is or is not precious as a gem, I don’t see much
more in this body of work that takes it further than that. And it’s
been done before. I’ve even seen totally plastic finger rings with
imitation Sushi or various vegetables as the gems. totally costume
junk, of course, but it makes roughly the same statement, at a cost
of less than a dollar. Not that these aren’t nice, but I’d like to
see more than just a refrigerator magnet for the finger. I’d like to
find, at least in the whole body of work if not individual pieces,
more of an underyling thought process that gives me a reason as to
just why that sushy or bonbon should be on a ring. What statement
does it make? Why is it there? Why this one and not that one? If
these works are not just light hearted jokes, then show me why.

One big different between Tood Reed’s work and Carolyn’s is that for
me at least, I DO see that sort of thought process behind Todd’s
trademark devices of texture and rough diamond and what he does with
them. I’d suggest to Carolyn that if she wishes her work to gain
greater success, and be less likely to be similar to the work of
others, that it may be time to grow it a step further. It’s good as
far as it goes, but it could be a good deal more. Grad school was a
great start, but you’ve got to keep that process going. Carry these
further, please, and people won’t be ABLE to copy you.

Again, just my two cents. end of critque… :slight_smile:

Peter Rowe
Seattle


#9

I wouldn’t look at it as some others might.

You’re in business, right? So appraise it in that light.

Can you be certain YOU were knocked off? Could it be that the museum
already had the other artist in mind, even before you first
submitted? And their reason for rejecting your work was because they
already ‘filled that slot’. Something along the lines of first come
first serve. So that perhaps quite innocently you duplicated the
other artist? YOU have to prove the allegation.

If you choose to pursue legal action… are you really capable of
it? It’d have to be a civil suit which means $$$$ upfront for a
lawyer. Unless there are big bucks at stake you probably won’t find
an atty to take it on contingency. If you file some sort of criminal
complaint, can you really convince a DA that your case is worth
his/her time(I’m not really sure any ‘crime’ has been committed)?

And what are your damages? Even if you won the action YOU have to
demonstrate your loss. Damages are calculated and awarded in
dollars, not any type of vague personal justice. I believe the
correct term is money damages.

If you create a hornets’ nest outside the legal system, what
repercussions are likely and what unforeseen events might unfold? You
have no idea, do you? Of course not, no one does. Just as one should
not enter business without a good prediction, one should not venture
into conflicts lightly.

In other words, what do you stand to gain, what do you stand to
lose? Are things worth the gamble? Distance yourself from it and
examine it cooly.

And keep in mind that the ‘prestigious museum’ probably has greater
resources than you. That may not seem quite fair but reality should
be your checkpoint.


#10

I made a very innovative design of a poker-chip, but with 2.25 carats
of diamonds. Some of my peers asked me last year let them have some
views of it. They wanted to post it on their web-site, I hesitated,
and now I’m glad I did. I know for a darn fact that it would be
copied and totally modified and sold cheaper…I would have "lost"
and thrown away the ‘wow’ factor!!! This little bauble will be seen
on a very exclusive auction site, where the membership must have at
least $3million in assets. So my esteemed Orchidians, please keep
your designs close to you and this might prevent someone else of
plagiarizing it.

Gerry Lewy


#11

Carolyn…Unfortunately these things happen in any creative field on
a regular basis either because someone is subconsciously influenced
by you or because they are very aware of exactly what they are
doing. In either case, you have the right to send the artist a
registered letter (or have an attorney send one) saying that you feel
their work is too close to yours. I assume that you can document when
you first produced the pieces and find out when the other artist
first created theirs. This will at least open up a dialogue and
usually stop the other artist. If it doesn’t you have to decide
whether it is important enough for you to spend your valuable time,
energy and resources stopping them (i.e., bringing in an attorney for
copyright infringement). In most cases that I personally know about,
the artist decides that they have plenty of ideas and that being
copied is unfortunately one of the side effects of producing good
work. But I have also known a few artists to feel it is important to
protect their intellectual property, for numerous reasons. You are
the only one who can make this decision.

I sincerely wish you good luck with this. It is a hard place to be, I
have been there.

Marlene Richey
www.marlenerichey.com


#12
work that is almost exactly like mine. 

Haven’t pitched in because it’s a perennial topic and I’m no lawyer.
I will say that “almost exactly” isn’t enough - it must be ~exactly~
to be a real infringement. That is unless you have a bank of lawyers
to split legal hairs…


#13

here we go again the old “trademark copyright” saga. a little real
study into these terms would avoid 99 44/100% of these “claims” and
comments about lawsuits etc etc maybe somebody out there could
document one actual case of successful legal action then it would be
clear how limited and specific these “protections” briefly put,
copyright means literally the “right to copy”, and refers to
generally written material or if it is a photograph it must mean an
actual copy of it to be included under copyright protection.

A trademark has to do with identifying one’s trade, meaning one’s
profession, in modern-day terms one’s product line.

A design patent which very few people are aware even exists is a
patent that specifically protects a specific design. Take a look at
the back of say you’re vacuum cleaner, or some appliance and if you
see a patent number with a D. in front of it that is a design patent.
(If it’s a very long patent number with a number in the six millions
with no D in front of it it is your traditional patent which protects
something novel about the item)

A design patent protects from that specific design being copied. Key
word being specific. Meaning that you can’t go and take apart the
vacuum cleaner, have molds made in China and sell it under your own
name. Similarly with jewelry a design patent that would protect a
three-dimensional object. But again the key word is specific.
Someone takes your original design and varies at slightly is no
longer protected by a design patent. (If you indeed you applied for
one and got one) If though the specific item was intrinsic for
example to promoting one’s business, let’s say your line was called
the “four leaf clover” line your four leaf clover with its specific
design is then considered a trademark (it would help to put a TM mark
next to it, or even better pay to get it registered after you’ve done
a trademark search on the web to ensure you are not infringing on
someone else’s trademark, which is quite easy.) If someone slightly
alters your four leaf clover design and uses it just to sell as a
random ring or two they are most likely not violating your trademark
protection. If though they use a slightly altered four leaf clover
in their logo promoting their jewelry I think it is clear that they
are infringing on your trademark even though the four leaf clover
varies slightly in design as they are confusing the customer as to
who is making what.

There is much more to all of this which is actually quite
interesting. Trademark protection is not complicated once you do a
bit of research on it. For example the TM symbol should be put so it
is separate from the actual trademark.

Somewhat above or below the actual line of written word and in a
typeface different from the trademarked words.(Can also obviously be
a picture) When does your trademark protection take effect ? When
does your copyright protection take effect? If I remember correctly
it is simply the use of the name/ picture for a trademark in any
publication. Same for copyright protection. Also if I remember my
study correctly you do not even have to have TM or the copyright
symbol placed next to various items, simply their being promoted and
published which in effect documents their use in time of origination.
Obviously using the copyright and trademark symbols sends us a more
clear warning to others of your intent and is advisable. The problem
with all of these protections is that it is the burden of the
individual to enforce these protections.

EBay just won a gazillion dollar case against famous watchmakers who
claimed that eBay was facilitating the sale of fake watches with all
they are famous trademarked names simply stamped on knockoffs. The
courts ruled that it was up to the watchmakers to protect their own
products not eBay so what does this mean for the individual?
Basically like most things Money talks so forget about infringement,
it basically legally happens rather rarely." The problems people
have in this economy are not due to other people “stealing” our
designs. They are due to a system that in a short 250 years has had
more periodic failures called “depressions” and then for public
consumption morphed into recessions" which are simply a form of
transfer of wealth. It’s simple economics guys and gals

good luck
zev
PS my last post on this subject ever I promise.


#14
I am at a loss for words and while I doubt there is anything I can
do, I am wondering how other artists have dealt with having their
designs so blatantly used by others and to a greater success? 

after reading a couple of posts on ‘At a loss on how to move
forward’ the quote above brought to mind similar personal incidents -
involving another jewelry ‘artist’, not a museum:

a few years back two women i had never met approached at a show and
pointed to the design i was wearing, “that’s your original design
isn’t it?” assuring them it was, they then asked if i had exhibited
at any of three shows they named. after i named one of them, they
turned to each other and said “we knew blankety blank couldn’t have
come up with that design on his own.” fast forward a year or two at
another show a distance from the two women episode. seeing that
blankety blank had already signed in i noted to another artist that
i’d like to meet the person who liked my design enough to copy it.
alas, he must have had a kidney problem, every time i got within a
few booths of his he exited for somewhere else.

fast forward yet another year or two to yet another show, even
further away from the first and second. just before opening time an
artist i had never met was dashing almost past my booth when she
stopped 20 feet away, came back and told me "i recognize your work! i
want you to know we never let blankety blank live down copying your
work - we told him that you do not do that to a fellow artist!"
obviously whoever copied the original poster’s design[s], and the
museum, did not have as much integrity as the group who took up for
my intellectual property, an artist they did not even know.

people, imitation is NOT flattery, it’s THEFT!

think people -
ive
think more now, regret less later.


#15

Thank you Peter Rowe! I don’t want to start some long thread with
this, but to compare Carolyn’s work to Todd Reed’s and to suggest
that she is knocking off his designs; Fimo Sushi - Raw diamonds and
gold. []

Linda Lankford


#16
Someone takes your original design and varies at slightly is no
longer protected by a design patent. 

I don’t know if design patents are different, but other patents are
generally written in broad terms, to cover the basic idea and
variations on that idea. Same with copyright. You can’t get away
with changing a few words and claiming it’s your own.

Al Balmer
Sun City, AZ


#17

A design is registered, not patented. A patent is for a process, item
or idea, a design is that, whether it is a freehand drawing or a full
draughted design of a ship. A patent is also designed to be exploited
by selling a right to develop or use wheras a design registration is
to protect it from development. MacDonalds fiercly go after anyone
using a big red and yellow M or the name macanything but they have no
patent on yellow paint or burgers.

If you have your own copyright then you can persue anyone who
infringes it and that includes minor alterations that are intended to
or may deceive or confuse. You copyright things by writing copyright
xx xxxxdate on the original so it can be clearly seen on any
subsequent copy you put in the public domain. For jewellery a tag
saying copyright on the item for sale with give you the legal
strength to claim.

Nick royall


#18
A design is registered, not patented. A patent is for a process,
item or idea, a design is that, whether it is a freehand drawing or
a full draughted design of a ship. 

This may be the case in the UK but in the US there is indeed a
design patent. This is an additional, different form of protection
distinct from a copyright.

See the USPTO website http://uspto.gov/patents/basics.jsp#patent

" There are three types of patents:

  1. Utility patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers
    any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or
    composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof;

  2. Design patents may be granted to anyone who invents a new,
    original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture; and

  3. Plant patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers
    and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant. "

Jim
James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#19
A design is registered, not patented. 

Are you thinking of copyrights? The UK may be different, but in the
US, designs can be patented:


http://www.tms.org/pubs/journals/JOM/matters/matters-9303.html

You copyright things by writing copyright xx xxxxdate on the
original so it can be clearly seen on any subsequent copy you put
in the public domain. For jewellery a tag saying copyright on the
item for sale with give you the legal strength to claim. 

You copyright things simply by expressing them in a tangible form.
Even in the UK. Registering a copyright gives you more rights
concerning compensation for infringement, but it is not necessary.
Simply marking the item as copyrighted does not make it registered,
but may be a good idea just as a warning.

Al Balmer
Sun City, AZ


#20

In the UK the Patent and copyright agency (now called the UK
Intellectual Property Office) runs workshops (free) throughout the UK
and also have lots of on their website

Most of the falls in line with the EU and international
legislation. http://www.ipo.gov.uk

Robin Key
Clavis Jewellery
Aberdeen, Scotland