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Archived updates for Monday, January 15, 2007

Swedish Copyright Protection for Down Jacket

According to Per Eric Alvsing and Anna Moller writing for International Law Office on January 15, 2007, the Svea Court of Appeal copyright protection for a down jacket, even though the shape of the jacket was clearly determined by its function and only slightly differenti from from other jackets:
[E]ven though the design of the Dun Expedition jacket was to a large
extent determined by its function and the aesthetic purpose of the design was
subordinated to questions of function and quality, this did not exclude the
possibility that the Dun Expedition jacket might be protected by copyright. The
court of appeal held that an evaluation of whether the jacket was sufficiently
distinctive should be made on the basis of shape and design prototypes that
already existed at the time the Dun Expedition jacket was created. A comparison
was therefore made with a down jacket of the Moncler brand. The court of appeal
stated that the Dun Expedition jacket presented a combination of details that
were not found on the Moncler jacket - namely, its bow-shaped cut, its yellow
drawstrings, its white leather details and voluminous silhouette. The court thus
found that the Dun Expedition jacket was distinctive as it was an independent
creation and resulted from an individual and artistic design.

In contrast to Sweden, U.S. copyright protection for the designs of useful articles is extremely limited. The design of a useful article is protected under copyright “only if, and only to the extent that, such design incorporates pictorial, graphic, or sculptural features that can be identified separately from, and are capable of existing independently of, the utilitarian aspects of the article.”
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