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Intellectual Property Law Could Affect Design

Intellectual Property Law Could Affect Design

Intellectual Property Law Could Affect Design

A new law has been passed in the house of Lords to “omit section 52” of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act of 1988, which means that the exploitation of classic furniture will have to be stopped.

This new law will affect designers, manufacturers, publishers and museums, as with the current law designers are aloud to reproduce work after 25 years of the original being created. Therefore creating authentic replicas, but this is no longer to happen as copies are sold for a fraction of the price of the original.

McDonald’s has been claimed to copy Arne Jacobsen furniture by Danish furniture company Fritz Hansen who stated the new furniture in McDonald’s new rebranded restaurants were infringing intellectual property law, even though the designs used were deemed legal.

But this will no longer be the case, as due to the new act copyright of design, you would have to wait till the life of the author plus seventy years before copying the design.

The reason for this change is to encourage investment into British designers leading to more manufacturing in the UK and resulting in more jobs. This change is not beneficial for everyone, as many faux furniture companies will face closure.

There are so many replicated designs for furniture, art and products, which make it affordable for everyone to purchase the products, which are similar to their favorite designer, so making it accessible for the masses.

Unfortunately the intellectual property law will only protect designers and not musicians and literates, it will only affect them when they produce images relating to design.

This new law will make many more professions struggle for instance publishers who write and print books about 20th century design will have to edit and reprint their work to make sure they comply. Also short films or documentaries about design will have to have permissions to be broadcast, as images would be used as examples.

There are many views for and against the new bill, but no one really knows if it will be beneficial for the country or more restricting for teaching, publishing and historians, only time will tell until the law comes into play.