Tougher new copyright law means extra protection for designers against rip-offs


15th August 2016

A strict new copyright law will ensure extra protection for artists and designers from those attempting to rip off their designs, says Tayside solicitors and property agents Miller Hendry.

The law, which extends design copyright from 25 to 70 years, is aimed at preventing people and businesses producing replicas and knock-offs of the work of artists and designers.

s.52 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act protected a designer’s work for 25 years after they die. It prohibited replicas of their work being made by an industrial process, or more than 50 being produced.

As a result of a recent Court of Justice of the European Union decision, s.52 was repealed, bringing UK law in line with EU regulations. That means designers and artists have protection for 70 years. Legal experts say that s.52 offered only limited protection and as a result was rarely used to enforce the rights of designers.

Alan Matthew, partner with Miller Hendry, commented:

“The change in copyright law means works are now protected for 70 years after the death of the designer. Increasing protection to 70 years now gives designers protection back to 1950s. This brings design protection in line with standard copyright protection for literature and music.

“Stockists of replicas of protected designs have 6 months to sell, destroy or remove stock from the market. All replica stock which breaches the new rules must be gone by 28 January 2017.”

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Miller Hendry

Miller Hendry is one of the longest established and largest legal firms in Tayside. With 16 partners and 150 staff, through our offices in Dundee, Perth, Crieff, Comrie and Auchterarder we provide a wide range of legal expertise to our clients. As well as a sizeable Estate Agency and Property Services business we have specialists in Court, Private Client, Asset Management and Commercial work.

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