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.
Mann, P. “Who owns the copyright of architectural works and designs?”. COBRA2010 2nd-3rd September, Dauphine University, Paris.