March 26, 2024

Overlapping IP Rights

What is the relationship between all of these intellectual property rights?

There can be overlap among the various intellectual property rights. Let us use an example to make the situation clear.

A company, called Red Star, starts selling clothes. Red Star can potentially protect their clothing designs using copyright or registered design rights.

The company can also register their name, 'Red Star', as a trade mark. Red Star markets the clothes that they sell with a logo consisting of a Blue Heart, and the tag line, 'Blue makes your heart happy.' The logo and the tagline are both potential trade marks that can be registered. There is also copyright in the logo, which would have to be secured from the graphic artist that drew the logo.

Red Star creates a website for their clothes - the design and layout of the website can be protected by copyright, and potentially, passing off. Red Star creates a new machine to create the fabric for their clothes. Red Star can apply for a patent which would prevent their competitors from building and using the machine. They sell their clothes in a unique conical package. They could apply for a design right to protect their conical package, and possibly even a trade mark.

Red Star decides to hire an influencer to promote their clothing on Instagram. Red Star needs to be careful with how they draft their endorsement contract, and the influencer will want to secure their image rights as this is their main source of income. Both Red Star and the influencer will want to stop others from using the image without permission.