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TypoTechnica 2003

Design Patent
& Trademark

Thomas Caldwell

Font Development

Process and Quality


”Knowledge is the best Contents Why Protect your Work?

Types of Protection

How and where to


What Linotype Library

does to Protect your

Trademark When to use ® and ™

Antique Olive® Design Patents & Design Adding Trademarks and
Banco® Registration Copyrights to your Fonts
ITC Bauhaus® Copyright
Times Ten™ End User License
Why Protect your Work?

Font piracy is everywhere.

Why Protect your
Work? Designers would have no
authorship rights to their
designs without protection
Nothing would stop pirates
from copying fonts. En-
forcement of intellectual
property rights is only
possible with correct

No sale of fonts is The devlopment of fonts

possible without and new technologies is
documented authorship expensive and financed
(designer and through sales
manufactuerer) and
without a contract (End
User License Agreement)
Types of Protection

Different rules apply for Types of Protection Trademark

different regions. The
three main regions are
- Europe Design Patents / Design
- Asia (not covered by
this presentation) Copyright

Europe USA

Trademark Patent Trademark and Design

Patent as part of the
Design Registration by Patent process
country or
Copyright registration
for the whole EU possible
Copyright registration
not possible
Types of Protection

Trademark Trademark Name

registration is possible for
Name of the typeface the whole world
is protected
A registered Trademark
Name has the highest ®
level of protection

The name can be

registered in various
different classes

Legally enforcable for the

countries where regis- In Euope the use of a
tered name can be considered
justification for an TM
Enforcable only for the unregistered Trademark
classes registered It must be in use, so
always use TM !
Design Registration

Europe Only a registration

process – not validated
Community Design No protection for
Registration A-Z, a-z, 0-9, only
additional glyphs

Protection only within

the EU

Novelty required for legal Duration of protection:

enforcement – less 5 – 25 years
protection for text
typefaces The main reason for
Design Registration is
Legal enforcement documentation of the
questionable design at the time of
May not be shown in
public prior to registration
(6 month grace period)
Design Patents

US Design Patents Only 153 entries in the

class D18/24 (type font /
Design of the typeface design)
typeface is protected
About 90% are fonts

Novelty and nonobvious Duration of protection 14

ornamental design years

The design patent Protection only within the

protects only the USA

You must claim prior art

(provide samples)
Online Research


(Example: Design

United States Patent and

Trademark Office

Other organisations are

making their information
available online

Copyright Very weak design

protection due to the
Digital source data of exclusions in the
the font is protected Copyright Act
(hint instructions,
No protection without
outline points used in Trademark, Design
the hinting program) Registration and/or an
End User License Agree-

Copyright is probably Europe USA

one of the most
No registration possible Curve points in
misundersood concepts
combination with hinting
of protection. Alone it
have been protected
provides no protection
sucessfully (Adobe Inc.
for typeface designs.
vs. Southern Software
Inc.) with an out of court

USA the utilitarian elements of

industrial designs
Excluded from Copyright
Protection 85 familiar symbols or
Typefaces & their digital
representations simple geometrical
do not enjoy copyright shapes
protection under the mere variations of
Copyright Act typographic ornamen-
tation, lettering or
Certain works and subject Titles coloring
matter are expressly
excluded from protection common works con-
under the Copyright Act, short phrases sidered public property,
regardless of their such as standard calen-
originality, creativity and slogans dars, height and weight
fixation. Typefaces & their digital charts, and tape mea-
representations (bitmaps, sures and rulers
outlines – outline points

The Protective
Condtions for the

The EULA helps protect A binding contract Important: The EULA

your Intellectial Property. between the seller and must be agreed to before
The customer is bound the end user, OEM or the use of the product
by a contract and in- reseller (shrinkwrap or digital
formed about what can acceptance)
and cannot be done with Definition of what may
the product. and may not be done
with the product -
reference: Bill Davis, ATypI EULA Workshop no modification in the
documentation and
courtesy AgfaMonotype Corporation original design
Linotype Library

How do we protect Registration of

your fonts? Trademarks, design and
copyright where

Constant policing of
websites and products

Dissuasion with ’cease

and decist’ order for the

Do you have any Innovation – new designs Legal action against

questions? Please infringers if nothing else
contact Innovation – revivals helps
Innovation – new techno- End User License
Nihal Yilmaz at logies Agreements with detailed explanations, do‘s and
Adding © and ® and TM

Adding Copyright FontLab allows you to

and Trademark add the copyright and the
trademark information
Notices to your
into the font data

This is the copy in 17 pt.

For blank lines between

two statements use half