|Winter 2010 / Volume CVIII No.1|
Q - Does a copyright protect an idea or concept?
A - A copyright registration protects original intellectual property and designs. For jewelry designs, you can register a copyright for both the actual piece and the drawings.
Q - If my client wishes me to duplicate the design of a copyrighted diamond ring that she saw in a magazine, but would like to replace the diamond with a sapphire or ruby. Can I duplicate it since I will be changing the gemstone in the design?
A – Simply changing the gemstone(s) in an item of jewelry would not be considered a sufficient or significant change in order to hold you harmless for copyright infringement.
Q - How would I know when I am infringing on someone else’s design?
A - When you are making a copy! If you make significant changes and the finished product is substantially different it may not be infringement. However, you have to be very careful.
Q – What’s the difference between a copyright and a trademark?
A - A registered copyright protects the esthetics of a design, the way the product looks. A trademark is means to identify a manufacturer to distinguish the product from those of others.
For additional information on this subject, go to www.uspto.gov