The EU Design Approach
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The EU Design Approach

A Global Appraisal

Edited by Annette Kur, Marianne Levin and Jens Schovsbo

The EU’s ‘Design Approach’ represented a unique attempt to protect industrial design and designers in and on their own terms. It has now been in place for more than a decade and this book, including contributions from leading international scholars, takes stock and attempts to find out what became of the Design Approach: Is it still observed; what has it achieved; how does it interact with other areas of the law; what became of the spare parts problem and how did the world respond to it?
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Chapter 4: Copyright protection for design creations

Philipp Fabbio


This chapter deals with the role of copyright in protecting design creation vis-à-vis the so-called Design Approach envisaged by the Design Directive and the Design Regulation. It examines the various arguments that are made for and against copyright protection for design creations, focusing on the differences between design and copyright law, the economic and social dynamics of design innovation, as well as on the EU notion of copyrightable work. In terms of policy recommendations, the author concludes that, contrary to some recent developments at Member State level, design creations should be afforded copyright protection, if at all, only in exceptional cases.

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