I’m A Professional Too: Session 2 — Protect Your Creative IP

Pictured: Co-moderated by Krithika Rajkumar, Head of Legal & Compliance at CAREspaces (top left) and Ratipriya Suresh, Head of Design & Lead UX/UI Designer at CAREspaces (top right), and featured the expertise of MS Bharath Vathul (bottom left) an India based IP Lawyer and Founder of KRIA Law and Leah Pardais (bottom right) a Trademark Examining Attorney at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Part I: Provide Context

Intellectual Property

What is the importance of understanding IP on a Global Scale? And why is it important for stakeholders in this space to understand the nuances of this?


  • In the US a copyright must be registered for it to be enforced. This is not the case in India however where registration is NOT mandatory.
  • Examples of tangible work include literary, dramatic, musical, artistic work etc.
  • Fair Use, is an exception to copyright infringement that recognizes some use of another’s copyrighted work can be regarded as “fair”. Purposes of this include, criticism, commentary, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, research etc.
  • This is often determined on a “case to case” basis, and often depends on how transformative the use was. For example, taking the original work and adding artistic nuances that transform it into a different form of work altogether is considered transformative. The above fair use policies are applicable to the US & India.


  • In the United States, your name is trademark-able as long as it is more than just your surname. In India, trademark doesn’t need to be registered to be enforced, however it can be registered, and similar to the US a full and or unique name must be registered.

Patent Plagiarism

Example of IP

  • Trademark: (brand) Casio, Roland, Indosoul
  • Design: look, shape, pattern
  • Patent: Novel and non-obvious functional invention

Understanding Authorship and Ownership of a Copyrighted work

The many layers of Copyright are like the layers of a cake:

  • Example: If a photographer in the studio takes a photo of someone the person who is paying for the service is the owner because it is a commissioned work. Here the photographer is the author and photographed person is the owner.
  • Example: If a photographer is taking a photo in a public place then the photographer is the author and the owner of the work.


Part II: Apply the Law to Case Studies

CASE STUDY 1 | Who owns the IP?

CASE STUDY 2 | Plagiarism or Integration?

CASE STUDY 3 | The organizers dilemma

CASE STUDY 4 | Inspiration or Imitation?

Part III: Learn Practical Takeaways

Considerations Consulting a Lawyer:

  • When in doubt, ask a lawyer! Don’t be scared for an initial consultation with a lawyer, most first-time consultations are free/pro-bono!
  • Bring copies of what you would like to trademark or copyright when you arrive at a meeting with a lawyer

General Takeaways & Reminders

  • Form a contract as early on as possible and explicitly specify the owners and parameters of ownership
  • Register a trademark as soon as possible
  • When using someone else’s work, see If you can license the work first and foremost. If not, make sure that your use of it is unique and transformative in some way. There must be some value add of your use of the work it cannot be a simple copy and paste!
  • Public domain does not excuse the use of original work
  • When you are performing a cover of a copyrighted work it does not fall under fair use, this is because it takes away from the viewership and subscribers and following of the original artist





Conscientious Artists Rallying for Ethical spaces.

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