David Yurman has what is known as a Trade Dress Patent on his
cable/stone designs. It is a patent applied to a body of work whose
signature look has achieved recognition as belonging to a certain
individual, distinct from all others. It is not a design copyright
for a single piece, but for a larger, recognizable body of work.
Does it seem fair, when twisted cable has been around for centuries?
No, until you learn what a Trade Dress Patent is. Then, Yurman gets
the prize for being smart.
Yurman’s design rights have been challenged and tested repeatedly
and have withstood all the legal challenges. Why on Earth would
anyone who claims to have creative talents worry about any of this?
For me, at least, from the creative side, once a piece is done, it
is done…I no longer have creative interest in it. If you wish to
copy it, have a go. If you wish to make a line from it and are
successful, good for you. Ideas are cheap, there is little new under
the sun, although the creative ego likes to think that one’s designs
spring completely anew from inside our wonderfully creative and
unique little minds…hogwash, of course.
Every piece each one of us has created is a melding of what our
subconscious has seen elsewhere, brought together with conscious or
unconscious thought, and which learned skill can then bring to
physical reality…sometimes. It’s all a blending of shapes, forms
and deas “borrowed” from the library of our experience.
Who cares what Yurman is doing or has done? The pieces have never
appealed to me that much, they do to many, they sell well, I’m happy
for him, end of the deal.
Maybe others here are different, but I am given only so much energy
each day. I can use that to learn strive, think, create, apply
resources, build, sell and earn…or complain that some successful
business person and artist has done the same. and done it very well,
and used thee system to seal the deal. The rest of us scurry about
trying to figure out what “Trade Dress” means. Look, I’m pretty sure
we can all go forward without twisted cable, so why spend precious
energy on it. I don’t know how old you are, but when you pass the 60
mark, you will probably spend less time worrying what others are
doing and more time wishing you had, well, more time. I hate to tell
you this, but business success is not attained through
"originality", it is attained by finding a need and filling it. And
knowing how to use our system of copyrights and patents is a big
help. It IS all about business, and NOT all about art. That’s the
reason there are so many creative people looking for work; they are
all members of the Starving Hopeful Artists Fighting Tyranny club
Good luck on your journey,