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Robert McEwen, Esq.
Robert McEwen, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
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Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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If a design is painted on a wood cutout in a shape that is

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If a design is painted on a wood cutout in a shape that is identifiable with the shape can the wood shape be copyrighted or just the design painted on it? Example, a snowman ornament (2D) maybe holding a candy cane. I understand the design is able to hold a copyright but what about the wood cutout if there is no engraving on the cutout. Or does this fall into Industrial Design?

RobertMcEwenEsq :

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.

RobertMcEwenEsq :

No, the wood design itself is not able to hold a copyright. If there's some sort of new process or it's unique in the manner in which it's applied, it could be patentable. Also if this becomes your "thing" then it could acquire "trade dress" protection (think Hummel figurines... if there is one that is not copyrighted but looks like them, that could still be a violation of intellectual property rights, based upon trade dress protection). But typically the medium that the design is on is not also copyrightable.

RobertMcEwenEsq :

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!

RobertMcEwenEsq :

Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?

Customer:

No other questions. Will I receive your reply in writing?

RobertMcEwenEsq :

Did you see my reply above?

RobertMcEwenEsq :

Here's what I posted:




No, the wood design itself is not able to hold a copyright. If there's some sort of new process orit's unique in the manner in which it's applied, it could be patentable. Also if this becomes your "thing" then it could acquire "trade dress" protection (think Hummel figurines... if there is one that is not copyrighted but looks like them, that could still be a violation of intellectual property rights, based upon trade dress protection). But typically the medium that the design is on is not also copyrightable.



Customer:

Yes, I saw everything else came in email, just wondering.

RobertMcEwenEsq :

To be honest, I don't know if you will receive it in an email. But when you rate this, it will switch to Q&A and you can print it, or copy and paste it into a word processing program, etc...

Customer:

OK, Thank you

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