Various aspects of the Law on Copyright apply directly to the world of technical innovation. Perhaps the best known example is the use of Copyright to protect computer software. In most cases Copyright will also exist in technical design drawings and can be used to prevent the copying of the 3-D product based on the drawings. Copyright may sometimes also exist directly in the 3-D product itself.
An advantage of Copyright is that, usually, it comes into existence automatically and no official registration is required - although Copyrights can be registered in some countries, notably in the USA. A potential disadvantage is that you may be required to prove who produced the copyright work, when and where.
The protection offered by Copyright is quite limited. It only protects against copying. Independent conception is a defence to Copyright infringement and Copyright does not protect underlying ideas.
Whilst Copyright protection can be limited, it should not be ignored as another tool of IP protection. Moreover, whilst no registration is required, proving that Copyright exists can be very time consuming and expensive.
We have advised extensively on various methods and systems for clients to implement, often dependent on cost/time/ideal world factors, to ensure suitable evidence is kept to demonstrate that Copyright exists.