The various legal protections
of design in France
Intellectual Property Rights in France 3
I. Copyrights 3
II. Design Law 4
III. Design Patents 4
IV. Trademarks 5
V. How to obtain protection for a design in France? 5
Intellectual Property Rights in France
Writing assignment: France is considered as a country where designs are particularly well protected by law. Explain the various legal protections of design in France. (1500 words)
Currently the fashion industry is one of the most important industries in the world. In fact, the fashion business industry represents in the world more than a ...view middle of the document...
However, the current difficulty is to demonstrate this original and unique character. In fact, fashion items follow the various trend styles and most of offered products are similar in the market, and don’t demonstrate enough originality that provides a unique character. That’s why many designs are still not protected due to a lack of originality. The following examples of work could be protected by copyrights: writings, musical compositions, fashion shows, designs, photographic works etc. So we could deduct that the scope of copyright protection in France is quite broad.
The French copyright requirements differ from those in the United States. In fact, in US copyright can’t protect ideas and concepts, which are just in the mind of the creator, if they are not fixed in a tangible way. In France for example, garment designs and fashion creations, which include dressmaking, fabrics, jewellery, accessories and many others are protected under the French copyright law. In fact, copyright protection is a way for fashion designers to come up with new ideas, protect them against the rivalry and promote innovation and creativity in the fashion industry.
II. Design Law
Design Law protects the appearance of goods or services. In this case products are described as functional with an aesthetic shape. However ideas or styles, which are not materialized and tangible, are not protectable. In order to be protected a design has to be “new” and have an “individual character”. Moreover, in order to be valid it has to be registered. A design is new when no previous identical design exists already: it is the novelty requirement. If the design does not follow these requirements, it could be protected by Copyright but not by Design Law. But it exists also designs that are not protected under Design Law even though they have the “novelty” and the “individual character” requirements. For example the characteristics of a product’s appearance, which are only related to its technical functions (like a belt buckle) is not protectable. However, Patents Law, and particularly utility patent may protect this kind of product.
It is important to emphasize that new creations could benefit from two different intellectual property rights: copyright as well design. As a result, to accumulate these rights many decisions have mixed two conditions: the condition of novelty and the one of originality. For example a model of shoes can be original but also new, with an individual character because no previous identical models have been discovered before to the public. And this good may produce a new impression on the customer’s mind, which differs from other items discovered on the same time in the market. Currently, some stricter rules have been imposed in order to define more precisely the “original” and “new character” of a design creation because this combination of rights is very subtle and often misunderstood. Indeed, there is an effort to distinguish copyright than design...