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Old 26-06-14, 10:38 AM   #1
Wideboy
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Default copywrite/patent laws

I've managed to get my grubby fingers are a piece of body work for a bike that was discontinued nearly 10 years ago. As a result they're now rare as rocking horse ****.

I paid a decent amount for it and was wondering what legal implications would there be on me taking a mold and selling a few on ebay?
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Old 26-06-14, 11:14 AM   #2
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Default Re: copywrite/patent laws

I'm procrastinating and thought that was an interesting question so spent a bit of time Googling.

From what I've read it sounds like most car parts can be copied by non-OEM manufactures, with the exception of parts for which the manufacturer has a patent claim. Obviously for a patent something needs to be patent worthy which means it must be in some way non-obvious or novel. You can probably rule that out for a seat cowl.

Apparently there have been some successful attempts to claim that body work has its own unique character and thus is deserving of protection under copyright law. Now, if you started with the mold made some improvements on the design you could argue that you don't fall foul of this either.

http://www.lexology.com/library/deta...2-c243f0e752dd

Practically, if you've got the time and effort to put into making the copies, when selling make it clear that they are not OEM parts, I would doubt anyone will ever bother with you.
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Old 26-06-14, 11:15 AM   #3
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Default Re: copywrite/patent laws

Copywrite law is, from my understanding based around text, so not relevant here.
Patents require something to be documented, patented and technically unique, again I doubt it's relevant.

The main issue you may have is sale of goods or infringing on trademark/branding/mis-representation. Provided you are very clear these are after market items created to fit a given bike, and not original panels I don't see why it would be an issue. Aftermarket fairings are available for all sorts of bikes and most look very close to original panels.


I am, however, very happy to be corrected by someone with an understanding of the relevant law.

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Old 26-06-14, 11:30 AM   #4
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Default Re: copywrite/patent laws

It's not a seat cowl Mike, I'll be making my own mold for that but you're thinking along the right lines.

Both interesting reading. The parts are not OEM and are after market add on's. So I'd be copying an after market item, the company in question is still trading but has discontinued a lot of bits for the bike.

I'm not planing on retiring or anything stupid on this. Just knocking out one or two a week for a bit of extra dosh. Usually I wouldn't bother but it has taken me ages to get hold of one and I wasn't the only one after it.
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Old 26-06-14, 11:33 AM   #5
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Default Re: copywrite/patent laws

Could I not be prosecuted for stealing intellectual rights or something?

It wasn't a unique item as a few companies made there own design but as far as I can see they've all discontinued it and other pieces. When they come up on ebay they go for silly money.
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Old 26-06-14, 11:40 AM   #6
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Default Re: copywrite/patent laws

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wideboy View Post
Could I not be prosecuted for stealing intellectual rights or something?

It wasn't a unique item as a few companies made there own design but as far as I can see they've all discontinued it and other pieces. When they come up on ebay they go for silly money.
not really. Not unless there was something novel about the thing you copied.

If they'd come up with a part that gave a significant benefit to the bike then they could patent it but if not then they'd struggle, besides they'd have to know it was moulded from their part. If it wasn't unique they couldn't know that.
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Old 26-06-14, 11:42 AM   #7
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Default Re: copywrite/patent laws

It's also worth noting that the more general a patent is the harder it is to enforce.

So were they to patent the shape of the part yours would have to follow exactly the same shape and no other things could have that shape.

An example is apples patent of what appears to basically be a rectangle with curved corners, that would only have any chance of applying to something that matched it exactly with the same radius curves and sizing and even that would be iffy.
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Old 26-06-14, 11:53 AM   #8
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Default Re: copywrite/patent laws

I didn't know about this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_design, I don't know enough about it to know whether its relevant anyway but I suspect the part wouldn't be covered due to the age anyway.

As always, you'd need a lawyer to know for sure. And even if there was one on here I doubt he'd put his neck on the line to give out free legal advice (my friend who is a property lawyer sometimes prefaces fairly colloquial emails which touch on legal aspects with 'this doesn't constitute legal advice).

If you ever make enough money out of it that someone is likely to come after you then you can worry about it then
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Old 26-06-14, 12:01 PM   #9
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Default Re: copywrite/patent laws

all you need to do is make a slight change to the design.

i very much doubt that they will go chasing you.
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Old 26-06-14, 12:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: copywrite/patent laws

I'm fairly sure that on at least half of the panel they've just taken that part of their mold off the original factory panel
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