intellectual property

Consultants and Intellectual Property

Have you seen an interesting design lately and wished you could have thought of it first? Are you wondering if you can re-use the same concept?

Well, it turns out you can adopt an idea or a concept and incorporate it into a new and unique design.
Copyright law automatically protects the rights and interests of authors, including architects and engineers, on their original works such as architectural plans/drawings and the building itself, without the need for official copyright registry or a requirement for any fees including the rights for reproduction, display and publication of their works.Copyrights protect the expression of ideas or concepts but not the ideas/concepts themselves.
 
Therefore every architect or engineer can re-use original ideas and concepts from other designs, but always using their own expression defining a new and unique overall result. The same way a musician or an artist is influenced by other artistic works and can incorporate these new ideas into his own form of expression. A work of architecture being a building or a model or drawings is an “artistic work” under s4(1) of the Copyright, Design, and Patent Act 1988 as amended.

Reference:

Mann, P. “Who owns the copyright of architectural works and designs?”. COBRA2010 2nd-3rd September, Dauphine University, Paris.
Link: http://www.rics.org/site/download_feed.aspx?fileID=8053&fileExtension=PDF