Intellectual Property Rights – Greeting Card Industry

Written by Thomas Staveley | February 8, 2024

Intellectual Property

Nowadays, greeting cards is a saturated market, however this does not mean that you do not have any rights in the cards you design.  It is reported that 76% of adults purchased a greeting card in 2020 and spent a £1.4 billion on single greeting cards in that year.  We work with greeting card makers everyday to ensure that their work is protected at every stage of their business and are here to help you should you so require.

So can you protect your greeting cards?

Copyright is an automatic right in the UK, which protects a range of works, including literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works.  Specifically to greeting cards, we will focus on artistic and literary works.  The owner of copyright in the artistic or literary work which comprises of a greeting card is the original author.  Therefore, being the person who designed the artistic element, or in some cases, the literary element of the card.  Things can become a little more complicated when ideas and realisation of those ideas are shared in the creation of a card.  For example, there is a difference in copyright ownership between commissioning an artist or illustrator for your greeting card and employing an artist to do the same.  Whilst you may well own the copyright for the work completed by your employee (to which we stress clear and concise terms relating to intellectual property ownership within the employment contract), you may not own the rights to the work of the illustrator. It is therefore vital to have contracts in place to agree ownership prior to engaging in such activities.

So yes, even in a saturated market, you can protect the greeting cards you protect by enforcing copyright against any third parties who are copying your cards.  It is important to retain all past iterations of your card designs, and date them at time of creation if possible.  This gives you cleave reliable evidence of the creation of the card and evidences you as the author of the work.

If you ever find your greeting cards are being used without your consent by third parties, we are specialists in this field and we can talk you through the various issues that can arise in the greeting card market and how to avoid time consuming and costly legal issues occurring in the future and threatening your investment and hard work.

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