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Senior Partner
Senior Partner, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 13329
Experience:  Solicitor with more than 30 years experience
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Hi Im wondering if a person could own a copyright over a hinged

Customer Question

Hi I'm wondering if a person could own a copyright over a hinged bracelet made from a dinner fork.
They are widely made and fairly common place on the internet. I guess not but would like to know for sure. This is in the uk
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Senior Partner replied 4 years ago.
Hi thanks for your question. You cannot have copyright in a three dimensional object generally speaking so no it is not possible to have copyright in a bracelet. If it made by a well known or established brand then copying it may be an infringement of the brand rights.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Ok so obviously bending a fork into a bracelet shape can not be patented, copyrighted or whatever but does adding a hinge to that fork and bending the tines into a specific shape mean that that person can own the intellectual properties to the particular design? I think things like these have been made for hundreds of years ie jewellery from cutlery.
Expert:  Senior Partner replied 4 years ago.
It would be difficult to claim protection . It is possible to claim limited design rights to a specific design or pattern and it is also possible to register a design but design right last for only 10 years or 25 years for a registered design and if the general idea has been around for along time it is unlikely anyone can claim exclusive design rights. Any claim to design right would only apply the specific shape and not to bent forks generally so it is not difficult to get round such a claim.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks so far.... The design I refer to is as follows... the tines of the fork have been bent into a heart shape and a hinge added to the handle so it can be opened and closed around the wrist. I guess you can't have design rights to the heart shape and adding a hinge is a logical progression to make the fork into a wearable bracelet. In my view these things can't be classes as a unique design but I would like to see your professional view.
Basically would I be ok if I was to make a bracelet that looks the same and offer it for sale?
Expert:  Senior Partner replied 4 years ago.
If the heart shape was not an identical copy then it should be fine. From what I have seen on the internet there are many many designs

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
That seems to me to be one of the biggest problems, there are a lot of designs but there is only a certain number of ways you can bend the fork so you are no doubt going to be doing the same design as someone has previously done and I doubt this design in question was the first to use that particular heart shape. Do you think the use and placing of the hinge may have any relevance?
Expert:  Senior Partner replied 4 years ago.
There is a difference between the general concept and a precise copy . To infringe design right it needs to be an exact copy if you do that then there amy be some risk but if you just use the concept then there is none