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How can I protect my Design?

This is a frequently asked question among fashion designers, Well there is no need to worry anymore because this article answers the question. A designer can protect a design through the copyright protection  or the design protection.

Copyright is a legal means of protecting an original work. Section 1 of the Copyright Act in Nigeria makes provision for ‘works’ that can apply the copyright protection. Many designs for fashion products will fall under ‘artistic works’. For a design to be protected under copyright, it must satisfy the following conditions: the design must be an artistic work (a sketch/a painting), the design must be original and should not be copied.

Copyright for a design arises once these conditions are satisfied. Copyright protection lasts all through the designer’s/author’s lifetime plus 70 years. There really is no need for a copyright registration but a designer can register if he/She wishes to do so.

Another way a designer can protect a design is through design protection. Design protection basically gives the designer a monopoly in the visual feature of the shape, pattern and ornamentation of the design. This design protection is applicable  in some parts of Africa including Nigeria.

It is vital to register an original design, a registered design gives protection to the shape of the product. The primary idea is to prevent others from copying the external design of the product. The owner of a registered design can prevent people from reproducing, importing and selling. In Nigeria, a designer can file for an application to register a design. The design must be original and must not be a design with a slight alteration from another design. The right to the registration of a design is vested in the first person who is the first to file an application for the registration of the design.

Protect your design today…

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