Copyright on a product

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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kuzifan
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Copyright on a product

Post by kuzifan » Tue Sep 23, 2014 2:29 pm

Hi guys.

I started a small company selling small wooden packaging, but I've just got an email from an overseas business, that the design is their's and I can sell it as they have the copyrights on it. The product is a wooden box with the sliding lid and the logo engraved on it. It looks like a small wine bottle box that you can buy as a personalized gift.
There are another few places that sell stuff like this and the dimensions are roughly the same, but I'm using different wood.

What's your thought, can they actually have copyrights on a wooden box? Sorry if it's a silly question, but I have no clue about ins and outs of copyright law.

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AndyJ
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Post by AndyJ » Tue Sep 23, 2014 6:57 pm

Hi kuzifan,
Assuming these boxes (theirs not yours) are not individually manufactured by hand then copyright does not apply to things lilke boxes. The logo may well attract copyright, but you didn't mention if your boxes also had the same logo, so that might not be an issue.
However there is something called Design Right which can apply to manufactured goods, so long as the design has the necessary degree of distinctiveness.
You can read up on Design Right on the IPO website. If the other business is based in the EU they can rely on something called Community Design Right (again this is explained on the IPO website), but if they are based elsewhere in the world, they might have difficulty in enforcing their claim unless their design has been registered in the UK or the Office for the Harmonisation of the Internal Market (OHIM). And for your design to infringe, it would need to be sufficiently similar to the other design that a reasonably observant person would consider them to be the same.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007

kuzifan
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Post by kuzifan » Tue Sep 23, 2014 7:25 pm

Thank you for your answer.

Both theirs and mine boxes are made in the warehouses. The only thing that's the same is the size and the fact that they are closed by the sliding lid. They are used as a photography packaging, and each box has the logo engraved on the lid. The logo belongs to the photographer who buys the box from mine or their website.

Thank you.

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