in Law

How much do we really know about the topic of graphic design protection and what rights do designers have in relation to the product they create? Is this right prone to abuse and is it possible to protect it at all?

The concept of design is certainly wide and includes various areas such as industrial, graphic, machine design, interior, furniture and many others, and more recently, application design, games on mobile phones, as well as software design. Each of these types of designs should be considered separately. Therefore, the Law on Legal Protection of Industrial Design only partially covers the protection of design by limiting the legal framework to industrial design, therefore, what can be considered a design without being industrial remains possibly regulated by some other regulation.

When it comes to graphic design, we can say that the general provisions of the Law on Copyright and Related Rights apply to it. Special provisions of this law apply to cases of computer programs. However, graphic design as such cannot be determined as a computer program, so the special provisions of the Law on Copyright and Related Rules do not apply to graphic design. Graphic design is a part of digital content that can be very diverse such as websites, games or mobile applications. If we take this into account, an IT company, as an employer, could use a graphic design made by its employees for a period of 5 years, exclusively within the scope of its activity. After the expiration of a period of 5 years, in order to continue the use by the employer or his clients, it is necessary to obtain the prior consent of the graphic designer, because after 5 years, the designer is the only holder of all design rights. Even more restrictive measures exist in situations when a graphic designer is not employed but is exclusively engaged by a company. With this in mind, it is very important to pre-regulate the contractual relationship in detail so that each party is familiar with their rights and obligations at the outset. In this way, the rights of companies that are interested in using graphic design as long as possible and the rights of designers as its creators are protected. IR Legal Law Office has extensive experience in providing legal assistance in regulating contractual relations in this area.