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Intellectual Property Law in Architecture and Design


Pleasure in intellectual and efficiency by architects is considered normal in modern life, in today’s world, it is advisable to use goods and develop innovativeness in view. The law concerning Intellectual Property has been erected to safeguard the main architects and their skills. Intellectual property can be described as data, original ideas, or lexis of human intelligence, which may pose some financial benefits.

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Intellectual property (IP) should be kept away from malice under copyright, government grant, checkmark, and trademark or operation secrecy. The following things are to be granted exclusive rights: methods, inventions, skills, design, software, and arty works. Critics though argue that offering protection to the production of goods and services causes domination, especially in huge corporations. Lawful protection should be granted to the academic property through legislation of the common law to:

  1. Provide the right to limited use for instance the copyright Act of 1968 and Design Act of 2003, provided in Section 18 of Australian consumer Law which safeguards intellectual property against confusing demeanor.
  2. Offer Intellectual property safety by protecting important information, indenture regulation, and dealing with breach of fiduciary associations.

This paper, therefore, examines the importance and impact of protection laws as far as copyright and patents are concerned, as well as the cartels formed by the law. Monopoly results in a conflict of interests between the possessors of IP and buyers.


It is a lawful right protecting authorship, contents, or creativity; it prevents the publication, manufacturing, or retailing of literature, stage show, and creative works or programming on the computer without permission.

Original Works Copyright

It is contained in section 31 of the Copyright Act which provides the exclusive rights to replicate, print, execute the work in public, inform the public about the work or get used to the work, for the artistic work to mimic the work, for literary work or musical performance to engage in business plans, for duplicated work in sound recording, for a computer program to get involved into leasing deals pertaining to the program.

Taking a case of desktop sale system Pty Ltd vs. Telstra Corporations Ltd (2002) FCAFC 112 Telstra’s copyright in its phone books. Telstra’s information in its phone books contained literal statements and this made it sail through in its breach of copyright after claiming that Desktop copied its date in phone manuals to come up with searchable CD-ROM manual released to the market. By gathering factual information in its phone book, Telstra accomplished the requirements of imaginativeness and instigator ship. This is because of the workforce and costs incurred in coming up with the phone books hence there were no charges for intellectual effort or even innovative spark pertaining to the type of compilation.

Computer Programs Copyright

Section 36 in Copyright Act constitutes safeguarding of computer programs; it implies that procedures and information applied either directly or indirectly to command certain effects are protected. The Act was modified in 1984 to include providing protection to computer programs; it was after the decision cases in computer Edge. In 1986, there was an instance of e-copyright involving Computer Edge Pty Ltd vs. Apple Computer Inc (1986) HCA 19.

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Apple was against Computer Edge’s importation plans since it could affect the sales of Apple II programs. It, therefore, alleged that Computer Edge had imitated Apple technology concerning origin code and object code consequently interfering with its Copyright rights. Indeed the high court established that Apple’s original code programs had copyright safety but object code programs had no literal works because they were not in any form of media that is, neither in print nor writing. The court found that the programs were not visible because they were kept in the chip; the programs were mere electrical impulses generated by a computer.

Moral Right Attribution-Author and Performs

These are provisions that grant individuals natural rights that are not within the precincts of copyright but are interconnected in certain ways. These are rights exercised by inventors of materials though they may not have the ownership of copyright. The exclusive rights are not uniform instead, they are provided differently to inventors of literal drama such as music and live performers. Section 193 (1) amended in 1993 clearly states the rights of authorship where the original producer should be attributed in reproduced works. The reproducer needs to recognize authorship and quote him/her in any publication.

In other words, the author should be recognized as the brainchild of the works created. In a case between Meskenas v ACP Published Pty Ltd (2006) FMCA 1136 where DR Victor Chang photograph was attributed to Princess of Mary of Denmark’s picture by Woman’s Day, the claimant was granted indemnity for interfering with his ethical rights amounting to $ 1,100 just for a simple mistake of attribution. It was claimed that the act could have caused mischief and agony to the social prestige of the doctor. A further $8000 was awarded for provoked indemnity and to worsen the matter $10,000 was given out to cater to the doctor’s legal fees. All these are provided in section 115 of the Copyright Act.

Performers Protection and media publishing Copyright

The 1968 copyright Act, section 4 provides for copyright protection in content other than creative works such as:

  1. Recording of sound provided in section 85.
  2. Section 86 provides for a number of film copyrights such as narration, tracking the sound, and seen images.
  3. Section 87 and 91 catering for broadcast sounds and general television regulations.
  4. Section 88, 92, and 100 looks into editions of published works.

For demonstrative purposes, Larrikins music publishing Pty Ltd v EMI Songs Australia Pty Limited (2010) FCA 29 serves as an example. An Australian song referred to as “Kookaburra sits in the old tree”, designed in 1934 with four bars where two bars were imitated in producing the song “Down Under” by Men at work that was in 1981. The reproduced song had lots of imitation to the original song by Kookaburra.

The creator was granted copyright rights because his song was reproduced without his permission or knowledge. The original song had major differences but the court found out that some basic similarities existed hence the claimant was compensated by the producer of the second song. The second song’s producers together with their publisher EMI were authorized by the court to pay the owner of the original song 5% of all income generated through the sale of the second song. Men at work began paying the original composers kookaburra from 2002 henceforth. The claimant had the right even after 29 years since the production of the song.

Copyright Duration

Depending on the nature of the material and the time it was first published, the rights to the inventor may last up to 70 years or after the elapse of the first year of publication. Major disparities exist concerning the duration of copyright especially for editions that are printed, articles in government, and materials that have never been published. The law stipulates that the 70 year period is counted after the death of the inventor and for more authors, it is counted after the death of the last producer. It also depends because the producer may pass the copyright to their estates or next of kin. The estate takes control of the copyright in equal measure as the original producer.

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Interfering with Copyright

Section 31 provides for regulations pertaining to copyright in literal material, performance, and dramatic works such that any individual who is not the creator and claims copyright without permission from the authorities or the owner, enjoying any benefits contained in the copyright and exploiting the rights in section 31 is perceived to be infringing the rights of the owner by:

  1. Introducing illegal copies of artistic works and performance contrary to the owner’s copyright. The person engages in activities without proper licensing hence interfering with section 37 of the Copyright Act.
  2. Rendering services such as sales and distribution of pirated copies without permission which is contrary to section 38.
  3. Engaging in authentic business without documentation is also illegal.


It is the general manifestation of goods or services; they are those features that can be seen by the naked eye such as size, figure, arrangement, prototype, and decoration. The features identify the product because they give it an exclusive look. The new design act replacing the 1906 design Act commenced on 17 2004. Licensing of designs is not keen on the erection of products or works instead it concentrates on what can be seen that is, visual outlooks of products such as shape and pattern.

A licensed design is actually a business asset because it provides the owner with safety against the visual outlook of products but not the sense of the manufactured goods such as the contents or quality. Only the latest and typical designs are licensed and granted copyright, it is not something that has ever been seen elsewhere. According to the 2003 Design Act, the law guarantees protection of up to 10 years for licensed designs as opposed to 16 years contained in the old Design Act.

Design Infringement

An individual’s rights to the design are tempered when someone undertakes a few written acts to the original design before informing the owner or the authorities. World technologies (Australia) Pty v Tempo (Australia) Pty Ltd (2007) FCA 114 will serve as an example. The claimant argued that its rights had been interfered with when an icon of a space cleaner contained in the website publicity through a catalog and another artwork message to advertising organization resembled its design. The design was not new as required by the 2003 Design Act hence it was acknowledged as invalid since it was contravening section 15 of the Copyright Act.


Exclusive rights pertaining to patency are issued for certain procedures, gadgets, substances or methods that the law considers to be original, creative, and significant. Patency is lawfully applied to grant the owner limited rights to fully utilize the creativity in making profits.

The copyright Act of 1990 provides for a clear distinction between standard patency and pioneering patency. Standardized forms of patents include all patents apart from pioneering patents because the former is concerned with uncomplicated creativity such as household devices. The process of satisfaction to such devices is less demanding and involving making them be painlessly achieved as compared to standardized patients. However, creativity should imitate innovation procedure not invention thus the technicalities involved in overriding them are undemanding.

Patent Effects

The law provides guarding to academic assets as one of the tactics of encouraging research and growth within the time of patency. The provisions are therefore effective in the following:

  1. Monopolizing temporarily the skill while promising to share the creativity in the time of applying patency
  2. The creative individuals acquire short-term domination of the skill when they obtain licenses although such rights rely on the capability of the owner to stand out firm against infringement.
  3. The process of certification of patents is costly making it to be handled only by the Attorney in charge of patents.
  4. Inventors can as well opt not to request for patency hence making them not to share out their creativity and drop the competition. Inventors with little creativity choose to request for innovation patent because it is accessible quickly.

Section 18 provides all regulations that must be met for there to be patency, this means that not all creativities can be patented. For owners to be granted patency, they must have involved themselves in some kind of manufacture such as in the case of a novel which engages some form of invention procedures and again is significant. This means that because of one reason or the other as provided in section 138, patents can be invalidated by the concerned officials or through a court order because of the following reasons:

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  1. When the patented individual does not meet the laid down regulations.
  2. If whatever needs to be patented is common.
  3. When the exclusive rights claimed were gotten through fraudulent means as stated in section 183 (3) of the Copyright Act.

For illustrative purposes, Aktiebolaget Hassle v Alphapharm Pty Ltd (2002) HCA 59 case will serve as an example. Alphapharm filed an unsuccessful case against Astra’s patency because the former had a legal patent for tablets with contents that can treat gastric ulcers. The drug had three elements as its contents while Alphapham was intending to import the same goods with the same elements as contents and again for treating the same disease. This was considered to be interfering with the rights of Astra.

Breaching of a Patent

The law states that a patent is interfered with by unlawful persons who misuse the creativity within Australia hence no measures can be taken in the case of standard patents until the authorities issue patent. No legal action can be taken for innovative patents unless the owner’s application is licensed. Copyrights issued to the patentee are displayed from the date of issue to the completion date that is, to the time when the arrangement is scrutinized publicly. In case interference to the patent is realized then the owner of the patent is compensated starting from the publication date.

Trade Mark

In business, trademarks are utilized in categorizing goods and services from various traders implying that are used to offer protection to the product name. They are normally in form of script, scent, figure, emblem, portrait, slogan, casing, or even a mixture of these. The trademark serves the following:

  1. Shows the real owner of the product or service that is, establishes the link between the manufactured and the manufacturer.
  2. Standardizes quality hence anticipation of products’ excellence is possible.

The owner of particular products is given full rights only if the trade is registered. This is well captured in the 1995 Trade Mark Act, which grants market control to the owner. Licensing of a trademark or requesting for it has the following advantages:

  1. The legal owners of particular trademarks can file a legal suit against those trying to interfere with their rights. It is equated to an insurance policy where the owner is always in full control.
  2. The owner of trade has the right and powers to issue threats to those trying to infringe his/her rights. The action is believed to be reducing forgery.
  3. Trademarking offers security to significant commercial avows such as logos.
  4. It keeps away any chances of incorrect usage of a trademark such as destruction due to end of use and deteriorating value of a trademark.

Trademarks are allowed to be licensed after demonstrating some uniqueness in the market such as flush trademark, smell brand name, sound make, and figure trade name. The numeral of new types of licensed makes is in an increase in the market hence the coming up of an Act to contain all cases of contravening with trademarks rights. The 1995 Trade Mark Act, part 12 confines infringement to the following:

  1. Section 6 states that it is illegal to utilize a trademark that is considered indistinguishable from a licensed one or section 120 (1) stating that the one that is deceivingly analogous to an existing trademark.
  2. Applying a mark as a trademark presumed to be significantly impossible to tell apart or unrepresentative akin to;
    1. presented registered merchandise according to section 120 (1)(a), or
    2. Services intimately connected to registered wares as per provisions of section 120(2)(b), or
    3. Services of the identical images as registered services (s 120(2)(c), or
    4. Commodities narrowly correlated to licensed services.
  3. When an individual utilizes the symbol as a trademark for unconnected commodities which are largely alike with or deceptively comparable to a skill famous in Australia such as McDonald’s or Vegemite. The provisions are contained in section 120(3) of the Copyright Act.

An exemplary scenario was a case involving Louis Vuitton Malletier SA v Toea Pty Ltd (2006) FCA 1443. The intrusion case against Carrare Marks, the operator owner on the Gold Coast was lost by the French Louis Vuitton. The Carrara Company was against the counterfeit of Vuitton products such as handbags and wallets. The cases never apply uniformly because in China the court ruled in favor of Vuitton, it was established that the owner of Silk Road Mark in Beijing encroached to Louis’ rights by giving space to counterfeits engaging in unlawful trade.

The problem of whether a permissible acknowledgment of privileges to academic possessions engrosses domination of rights raises a heated debate. Some proponents of copyrights argue that the subject of categorization is significant while critics claim that the whole thing is measly semantic without any strategy. The copyrights are issued to owners so as to facilitate research and creativity and to sustain inducement for more improvement. The intellectual property rights are temporary hence the owners utilize it to reap maximally.

The higher prices charged by original inventors do not allow consumers to access easily the goods or services neither does it allow other producers to engage in the production of the goods or services. The authorities need to come up with an equilibrium between monopoly and the interest of the public such as consumer welfare. Equilibrium is reached when intellectual property is granted for accurate reasons, to genuine parties with a specific time frame, and considering the security of the public. Favoring the intellectual property holder results in the domination of benefits exceeding the limit required for recuperating the creativity damages while society will bear the charges irrationally. Society might be denied access to important commodities such as medicines, food, and basic information.

It is recommended for developing countries to homogenize intellectual property by allowing some segregation and elasticity. This allows rewarding intellectual property owners for the accurate discovery and protection of the public against unnecessary monopoly. The provisions of the law pertaining to copyright exist to reimburse owners of intellectual property for their energy by giving the action rights. The 1968 copyright Act, the 2003 Design Act, the 1990 Patent Act, and the Trade Marks Act 0f 1995 are all granted to the intellectual property even though they create a monopoly.

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