28 April 2015

Copyrights – Producing jewellery articles using designs – ‘Article’ different from ‘artistic work’

Deliberating on the distinction between the ‘artistic work’ and the ‘article’ produced on the basis of the same, Bombay High Court on 1-4-2015 has granted interim injunction in the case of Pranda Jewellery Pvt. Ltd. v. Aarya 24 kt, where the branded jewellery articles were produced allegedly using designs of the petitioner. The court in this regard observed that an ‘artistic work’ so long as it can qualify as an artistic work reproduced in any form shall continue to enjoy the copyright available to it under the Copyright Act, 1957 but, when it is used as the basis for designing an article by an industrial process, it would enjoy a lesser period of protection of copyright under Section 11 of the Designs Act, 2000, if registered as a design under that Act, and if not so registered, would cease to enjoy any copyright after more than fifty such applications, under Section 15(2) of the Copyright Act, 1957.
The court was of the view that an ‘artistic work’ is the drawing itself and the copyright of the artist consists in its reproduction in any medium and in any dimensions, while the features of shape, configuration, etc., which are elements of a design, are “applied to any article”. The court also stated that there is a need to draw lines to distinguish the ‘design’ from ‘artistic work’. Thus, it opined that what was produced in the case was the artistic work and that work ought to enjoy full protection under the Copyright Act.


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