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Intellectual Property Law

Intellectual Property Law (5th edn)

Lionel Bently, Brad Sherman, Dev Gangjee, and Phillip Johnson
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date: 28 September 2023

p. 80729. Copyright protection for designslocked

p. 80729. Copyright protection for designslocked

  • L. Bently, L. BentlyHerchel Smith Professor of Intellectual Property, University of Cambridge
  • B. Sherman, B. ShermanProfessor of Law, University of Queensland
  • D. GangjeeD. GangjeeAssociate Professor of Intellectual Property Law, University of Oxford
  •  and P. JohnsonP. JohnsonProfessor of Commercial Law, Cardiff University


This chapter deals with the conditions under which copyright law might protect designs as well as the limitations on the term of design protection. It first considers the subsistence of copyright in designs via two routes: either directly, by protecting the form and decoration of articles as artistic works (particularly sculptures, engravings, or works of artistic craftsmanship), or indirectly, by protecting the author of a preliminary document on which a design is based. It then discusses section 52 of the UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, which limited the term of protection of copyright for mass-produced designs to twenty-five years, and its demise.

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