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Thread: copyrighting work

  1. #1
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    copyrighting work

    I want to sell some lamps that I am making, the design is a unique one, should I copyright the design and how would I go about it.

  2. #2
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    I think what you need is a design patent, not a copyright.

    Having said that, design patent or copyright is only as good as your pockets are deep. Those documents give you a legal position in a court of law. They do not keep someone from ripping you off. There is nothing automatic about them. You must be the aggressor in litigation. And you could lose, especially if the other party has more money and more lawyers than you.

    Google them and see.

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news......

  3. #3
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    Just the act of making it caries some copyrights.
    But as Carol said there is really no chance of keeping someone else from making it also.
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Thoits View Post
    Just the act of making it caries some copyrights.
    But as Carol said there is really no chance of keeping someone else from making it also.
    How does making it carry some copyrights?

  5. #5
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    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  6. #6
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    Dave what you can do is apply for a design registration. This pertains to the look or image.

    If the device is a working item then you can apply for a patent. Like Carol said its all a matter of how deep your pockets are in defending your rights.

    In order to be granted a patent specifically in the USA you will have to have your application stand up to scuitiny. This process involved a search for prior art and a determination as to novelty.

    For the small guy, unless you have something in your mind that is very special that you think everyone may want like for example and ipad or iphone or something like the touch screen module, then it aint worth it.

    Been there done that got two t shirts. Gets even more difficult and costly when its in another country.

    One other thing few ever consider in this rush to see their name on a patent.

    The patent grants you rights of exclusivity. In return you disclose everything about your device or product. That alone is sufficient information to help a competitor that might not have been developing in the right direction to now change course and go down your path in the search of an incremental novelty.

    In addition should say i wish to make your device as well you are obligated to come to some fair arrangement with me such as a license with reasonable royalty fees such that i might offer a competitive device with the same technology. Should you refuse to do so the courts can make a ruling in that regard for you and it would then be binding.

    Much of this the lawyers dont tell you when you want to take out a patent. Because it would make many think twice about the cost.

    Its a very interesting field because the other side of the coin, the more positive side of the coin is that a patent is termed intellectual property as such when looking at it from a business perspective you can have a patent valuer put a value to the IP. This value is then listed as the asset value on the company balance sheet and can be used very succesfully to raise capital.

    Of course you need to be able to demonstrate the likelyhood of the patented product achieving certain revenues in order to have a valuation of meaningful sense.

    Remember though that since it is an asset in a company the IRS will allow you to depreciate such an asset and so it can be very worthwhile having it valued if the company that owns the asset has significant income and profits.

    As you can sumise the whole game really works well for going concerns. But many startups specifically in the tech sector start the business and achieve the entire valuation at the beginning by virtue of the value of such patented technology. The idea being that the value has been created in the fact that the company has exclusivity in the market place and therefore depending on the product has essentially guaranteed sales, assuming someone actually wants whatever it is they have.

    Sorry for the long story. But i think this background is worth knowing. Lots of good ideas once developed are often seen as obvious to other people but they never thought of them in the first place. Sometimes those simple notions can be worth a fortune. But one needs to be real about ones situation and point in time.

    Subsequent to my own experiences I came to the conclusion after speaking to a fellow highly respected business owner that given the pace of development in a company that manufactures or produces product with evolving technology that it is far better to apply the resources that would be involved in patenting a specific element, to that of marketing and securing sales and market penetration and market share. This can be a big deterent to anyone wanting to come after you.

    Often you will spend all the cash on the patent, then in 18 months time you find yourself making your own patent obsolete by virtue of your new development.

    Its a great topic and i aint a legal begal on it just cut my teeth on it all the hardway and after that you certainly remember a thing or two.


    Last point somewhat related. There is in my view a bitter sweet side to the aspect of sharing entire construction processes or methods on a forum or the web. Showing a product on a website to entice people to buy is one thing, but if the product has novelty that you have created then posting the entire way you made it, in order to have content on your website which people will seek out such that you get a higher rating in search engines is in my opinion foolish. People forget this competitive element in the midst of being willing to share how they do something.

    Not that i would want to copy Chucks process of making his mugs but there is an example of what i mean.

    What it also does is remove the element of mysticism which is to the consumer, part of the intrinsic value.

    In the case of Chucks mug tutorial it serves to support value when you see the lengthy process because the many stages make one realize the work involved. This is not always the case with some posts you see people do and inmho they dont realize they devalue their work by making it appear to be so easy to do.
    cheers

  7. #7
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    The one advantage you have, in this digital age, is that what you do requires several things:
    1) Skill
    2) Choice of materials
    3) Marketing.

    Once you post a picture of your work, hey, it's out there, and somebody can/will copy it. Your best bet is to have something that is difficult to copy because of one of the attributes associated with the item.

    In this day and age of the interwebs, copyrights are, as has been said before, something that only someone with deep pockets can defend.

    I think Gillian Welch said it best in this song...


    Everything is free

  8. #8
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    sounds like too much of a pain. I suppose that I can just and date the bottom of them.

  9. #9
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    Again Dave, to use the copyright symbol on something that is not covered under copyrights will not help.

    Or perhaps I did not understand. If it something you have written or filmed, then you can copyright it. If it is a design, that is a different animal. The fed's website on these issues will be helpful to you. Google for copyrights and design patents. That will help you to understand what it is that may be useful to you.

    I have been there, done that, spent gobs of bucks and have absolutely nothing to show for it. I did get market share fora short while. But I no longer had the money to really market and ramp up production. Someone else did and he is still in business with my idea, 15 years later.

    That's real life.

    I have only one real advantage over him. I keep getting new ideas. He hasn't really developed the one he got from me. But then perhaps he didn't prosper because his gains where ill-gotten.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Black View Post
    How does making it carry some copyrights?
    Fed law does give a 'sort of' copyright protection automatically. As a writer I have looked into this.
    Fact is the protection offered is something less than wearing tissue paper in a thunderstorm.
    The courts will never back you in an infringement case. They need solid evidence you had the idea first. e.g. a real copyright with the Library of Congress. Currently for written material the cost is $40.00. I have no idea what design requirements are.
    But, IMHO, even if protected, a slight variation from your original would not constitute an infringement.
    I suggest you do what other artists do. Carry on and don't fret over it.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

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