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Author Topic: copying an existing design for a new commercial product  (Read 834 times)


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I want to copy an original teapot from the 1930's and then offer it for commercial sale. I'm told that I can't do that as it might be subject to copyright. Question: Can I substantially copy its design features and then design a completely different handle - thus ensuring it is quite different to the original teapot and could not be mistaken by anyone for the original teapot. Thanks for any help that anyone might be able to give.

Robert T Nicholson

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Re: copying an existing design for a new commercial product
« Reply #1 on: 04-20-17 at 12:15 pm »

In the United States, copyright law does not protect functional objects such as teapots.  Copyright can, however, protect decorative elements applied to the teapot, such as flowers painted on the pot. 

If you are simply copying the functional elements of the pot - the shape of the body, spout, lid, and handle - you would not be breaking copyright law.

This post is provided for information purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice.

Robert Nicholson Consulting | Copyright Safeguard | ED Treatment Center


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