Copyright in designs extended from 25 -70 years

File:Ngv design, ludwig mies van der rohe & co, barcelona chair.JPG

Barcelona chair designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich. Image courtesy of Salko, 2009 licensed under a CC 3.0 Licence.

Last month, the government passed the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act which repeals section 52 of the CDPA 1988.

This is good news for designers, as designs which qualify for copyright protection are now protected for 70 years from the death of the creator. Previously works were only protected for 25 years from the date the work was placed on the market. The new measures will apply to works created before 1987 where the work is a creative design which has been manufactured or exploited through an industrial process.  The types of works affected will include certain types of furniture, jewellery, lamps and ceramics. However, not all works will necessarily be classed as artistic works and will not be afforded copyright protection.  The changes will not apply retrospectively so retailers will be able to continue selling unauthorised stock.

The Design Council and designers such as Sir Terence Conran and Tom Dixon have welcomed these changes.  Click here to read their comments. For further information about the difference between copyright, design right and registered designs please follow this link.

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