Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Still Life of Vacuum Cleaner?
What about copyright? Copyright protects aspects of industrial designs that are separable from the functional object -- for example, a three dimensional design from a belt buckle, or an image silk screened on a car trunk. In the objects you describe -- a VCR or a vacuum -- the function and the form are inseparable and therefore unprotectible under copyright. (However, you might be infringing if you based your painting on someone else's copyrighted photograph of the Dyson.)
What about design patents? The presence or absence of a design patent doesn't matter. You would only infringe Dyson's design patent if you sold competing products that looked substantially similar.
P.S. Dept. We clean the Dear Rich headquarters with a Miele, not a Dyson, so we had to use that for our rendering.