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Furniture and Design: Is Copying Still an Issue?


Italian magazine Interni investigates new technologies being used to protect industrial property, something that is now more straightforward because of things like automated image reading.

In Interni, Elisa Massoni starts off her analysis of copyright in the design world by citing Giampiero Bosoni and Francesca Picchi’s book “Brevetti di Design in Italia dal 1945”, a history of creativity seen from the viewpoint of legal records of intellectual and industrial property, which in turn always entails patent registration.

A 2019 EUIPO and OECD study claims that industrial property rights violations in international trade in 2016 may have accounted for 3.3 percent of global trade. Up to 6.8 percent of EU imports, worth €121 billion a year, are counterfeit products,” writes Massoni. She adds: “Today, protecting designers’ work and investments has become a little easier. Digital tools and new professional positions make it more straightforward to navigate the jungle of international standards and global markets. Copying, especially when it’s online, is today a solvable problem.”


Think of specialized photo recognition software, automated image reading and machine learning for the practical scanning of information via the Net, says Edoardo Mola, who works for Praxi IP, a company active in this field.

The first step for protecting originals is to recognize copies. And when those copies are being marketed? Well, they are taken down. Major international marketplaces have policies to defend intellectual property: “A regulatory principle exists that obliges site providers to take down content (images, advertisements, etc.) as soon as they’re aware of infringements or counterfeits,” Praxi IP tells us.

It is, however, more difficult to intercept unauthorized distribution of original products via unofficial (albeit legal) channels or dealers, for example second-hand sales platforms.




Testo originale: Elisa Massoni

Foto: Courtesy of Interni

Rivista: Interni

Editore: Arnoldo Mondadori Editore

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23 December 2021