Intellectual property right is the right to protect the inventions that one makes with his/her own creativity

Intellectual property right is the right to protect the inventions that one makes with his/her own creativity. Intellectual property involves the literary and artistic works, symbols, images, films, computer programmes, inventions, design and trademarks used by the traders. Intellectual property right has different forms such as copyright, trademark, patent and trade secrets. The law restricts others from copying or taking unfair advantage or exploitation. No one has right to copy the original work of other people and give his/her name for the work done as per the intellectual property rights.
Taking legal action is always costly and time consuming. Therefore, majority of the cases settle down outside the court proceedings. The issue stated in case of Beth is related with copyright as her artistic work has been copied or sell by an Italian company. Copyright is very similar to property right which subsists in many ‘works’ such as Literary, artistic, musical, sound recordings, films, and broadcastings. However, Beth’s rights to claims against company or local seller Garden Centre is dependent upon the legislation related with intellectual property of the UK. Artistic work falls under the category of copyright so therefore, Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988: Berne Conventions 1886 and Universal Copyright Conventions 1952 can be used as a basis to advise her regarding the legal rights.
Copyrights of Beth’s Artistic Work.
Intellectual property rights have different formalities, duration period and level of protection based on the nature of property. People believes that intellectual property rights protects their works from being copied and misused by others. Generally, people claim for copyrights in case of misuse of their works but it is to be noted that copyright infringement is only applicable to the artistic nature of work. In case of Beth, she is an artist and she has created a sculpture with her own creativity which has now been copied by an Italian company. Therefore, she automatically holds the copyright.
Section (1) of Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 states that:
“Copyright is a property right which subsists in accordance with this Part in the following descriptions of work—
(A) Original literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works,
(B) Sound recordings, films F1or broadcasts, and
(C) the typographical arrangement of published editions.”
Beth can protect her sculpture under this act and she has right to claim for copyright infringement. One need not be register copyright of his/her work as Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988 protects the creator without registration. Copyright protection starts right after the completion of work. Copyright of sculpture designed by Beth is protected even if it has not been registered. However, registration of copyright provides you a solid evidence which could be benefit in the trial court. It is said that copyright protection starts before the ink used for a work is dry. There is a misconception that some inventions need to be registered for claiming copyright. Beth has right to claim for copyright infringement but the question arises regarding the party and court jurisdiction where whom she can claim copyright. The matter of jurisdiction was solved by the UKSC in the land mark case of “Lucasfilm Limited v Ainsworth” where court decided that UK courts have jurisdiction upon foreign persons/companies on copyright infringement. UK has the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court that deals with IP claims. In Scotland a claimant can contact Sheriff Court or Court of Session (Civil Supreme Court of Scotland) accordingly.
Protection of Sculpture under Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988 is stated in Section (4) part (1) as:
“In this Part ‘artistic work’ means
(A) A graphic work, photograph, sculpture or collage, irrespective of artistic quality,
(B) A work of architecture being a building or a model for a building, or
(C) A work of artistic craftsmanship.”
In case of Beth her father has sold the sculpture to the buyer. She has marked ‘B’ on her sculpture which she finds in the table and chairs displayed by Garden Centre and copied by Italian company. Generally, artist put their signs and mark in their original work. It seems that Garden Centre imported table and chairs from Italy for economic purposes. Although, the sculpture has been sold, Beth is the real owner of that sculpture so she still has right to claim the copyright. Italian company should take written permission from Beth to put their names as an inventor of that sculpture. The buyer does not hold right to make copies of her sculpture and sell that sculpture without the permission. Beth need not to register copyright as it will be protected by law until after 70 years of her death. Her family or legal heirs can claim for copyright infringement until after 70 years of her death. There are no any formalities for registering copyright.
European and International Copyright Infringement.
Beth’s creation has been copied by European company. Protection of copyright is automatic in most of the countries. UK has membership with EU and some of the international conventions for copyright protection in international level. Most of the countries are associated with Berne Conventions for the protection of Literary and Artistic Works. Other conventions are Rome Conventions, WIPO, WCT and TRIPS. International copyright protection can be achieved by two international conventions: the Berne Conventions for the protection of Literary and Artistic Works 1886 or the Universal Copyright convention 1952. Italy is part of EU and signatory of the said conventions. However, above two conventions set out the minimum standards of protection to be achieved and for exchange of protection between those countries that are guarantors to the conventions. The United Kingdom still the member of both conventions until decided otherwise after the so-called Brexit. Sculpture of Beth gets automatically protected in international market if the creation meets scope of any of the mentioned conventions. Having said that, she has right to claim for copyright infringement even if the copyright has not been registered. She need to provide evidence in the court that her copyrights infringed by infringers, there are two parties involved in copyright infringement. Garden Centre has displayed the sculpture for selling whereas Italian company has manufactured and kept its name in table and chairs. Therefore, both parties cannot claim defences of fair use policy which is allowed for certain reasons such as for educational or with prior permission of the owner.
According to section (77) part (4) “the author of an artistic work has the right to be identified whenever—
(A) The work is published commercially or exhibited in public, or a visual image of it is F2communicated to the public;
(B) A film including a visual image of the work is shown in public or copies of such a film are issued to the public; or
(C) In the case of a work of architecture in the form of a building or a model for a building, a sculpture or a work of artistic craftsmanship, copies of a graphic work representing it, or of a photograph of it, are issued to the public.”
Beth being an author of sculpture has right to be identified as Garden Centre has exposed it in public without permission of Beth and without using her name in the sculpture. She has the right to object the public exposure of her work. She can now claim for the copyright infringement. Italian company copied her sculpture to design tables and chairs. The company did not even replace her signature which shows that the company has copied her sculpture while designing tables and chairs. Only the copyright holder has right to make copies of the original work, publish it and distribute it in public. If any third party involve in copying work of copyright holder and exposing work in public, third party may subject to fine and penalties from the court of law. Section (16) Part (2) of Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988 states that “Copyright in a work is infringed by a person who without the licence of the copyright owner does, or authorises another to do, any of the acts restricted by the copyright.” Italian company didn’t have license or authority to copy the sculpture of copyright holders which makes the company liable for violating the copyright of Beth. Similarly, section (17) Part (2) explains the situation as infringement of copyright while “Copying in relation to a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work means reproducing the work in any material form. This includes storing the work in any medium by electronic means.” Italian company has made certain changes in the design of table and chairs but has uses the same sculpture as designed by Beth. It means that Italian company has reproduced the work of Beth in another form in their own name which violates the copyright of Beth.
Chairs and tables were placed at Garden Centre. As it was produced in Italy, Garden Centre might have imported it from Italy. Section (22) of Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 explains about secondary infringement which means importing infringing copy. Italian company has already violated the copyright of real owner of sculpture. Garden Centre imports it without permission of copyright holder so it is also liable for violating copyright of owner. Copyright is infringed as the tables and chairs have been imported to UK for selling purpose rather than for personal and domestic use. Section (23) of Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 also terms the copyright to be violated if the original work is possessed for business purpose and exposed for sale. Above mentioned sections can be the basis for claiming copyright infringement with Garden Centre.
Beth needs to prove that Garden Centre and Italian company have infringed her copyright by copying her sculpture and importing it into UK for business purpose. Italian company and garden centre cannot be punished until their activities are found against the copyright infringement. As a proof, Beth can show her signature in the sculpture which has been used in tables and chairs without her permission. If she finds the company and garden centre to be guilty, she has right to seize the infringing copies and other articles. It seems here that the infringer company used substantially her artistic work which exact the same that she made it.
Remedies available for Beth.
There are multiple remedies available for Beth to compensate her. The best solution that she can send notice to both infringers and ask for reasonable compensation to avoid legal action which is costly and time consuming or may be beyond her capacity. The Associated Press v Fairy If they agreed upon certain amount than settle the matter without court proceeding. Otherwise she has right to take possible legal action. Section (100) part (1) of Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 states that the copyright holder has right to seize the infringing copies and other articles if “An infringing copy of a work which is found exposed or otherwise immediately available for sale or hire, and in respect of which the copyright owner would be entitled to apply for an order under section 99, may be seized and detained by him or a person authorised by him.” It also states that the seizing procedure should be notified to the nearest police station . Moreover, this section binds the copyright holder to seize the infringed copies in a legal way. No any force and coercion should be used while dealing with the copyright violator. Beth has right to seize the tables and chairs but she must inform the nearest police station. She has right to access the business place of garden centre and Italian company but cannot take the tables and chairs in her possession and permanent custody. In case of seizing tables and chairs, Beth should leave the notice with authorizer of seizing and the reason (basis) of seizing. Not complying with this section can be legally harmful for Beth and plus point for the violator of copyright. Section (114) of Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 provides right to make application for the disposal of infringing copy or other articles .
Section (114) part (1) states that “An application may be made to the court for an order that an infringing copy or other article delivered up in pursuance of an order under section 99 or 108, or seized and detained in pursuance of the right conferred by section 100, shall be—
(a) Forfeited to the copyright owner, or
(b) Destroyed or otherwise dealt with as the court may think fit,
Or for a decision that no such order should be made.”
Beth can make an application to court so that the seized tables and chairs can be forfeited to her or destroyed or other options as state by the court. Court can find other options better than to forfeit it to the real copyright owner of destroy it. However, Beth has right to make application to court against the violation of her copyright. Section 107 1 (c) of Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988 can also provide criminal liability if there is any in this case which could be a fine and imprisonment up to Six month.
Conclusion.
Beth can claim for copyright violation against both Garden Centre and Italian company. Both infringers are liable for their own reasons as Italian company used her sculpture without her permission in tables and chairs designed/manufactured by them whereas the garden centre imported tables and chairs from Italy for business purposes. They both are liable as their act meets the condition stated in several provisions of Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. However, artistic work protected by EU law up to 70 years which could bring harmonisation throughout the member states. Beth should legally handle this to get appropriate compensation. Non-compliance with legal measures may not be fruitful to her. She should comply with legal procedures for dealing with the garden centre and Italian company.

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