Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What should copyright incentivize?

You might have thought that Americans were at the forefront of merging and overlapping copyright and trademark in order to create protection greater than the sum of its parts.  But check out this bit from a WIPO report on enhancing copyright protection in China: 

At the same time, copyright protection promotes brand protection. The key to optimize and enhance a brand is to foster the formation of a particular style for the enterprise’ s products. In branding strategies, there is generally an emphasis on originality, diversity and innovativeness. Since copyright protection increases the return on product originality, diversity and innovativeness, copyright protection enhances branding strategies. 

Is anyone worried that this isn’t what copyright is supposed to be for?  Why isn’t stopping piracy of specific infringing designs the right metric?  See also Deven R. Desai, From Trademarks to Brands, 64 Fla. L. Rev. 981 (2012).

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