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House Committee on the JudiciaryIntroducedApril 30th, 2009
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Design Piracy Prohibition Act
To amend title 17, United States Code, to extend protection to fashion design, and for other purposes.
Design Piracy Prohibition Act - Extends copyright protection to fashion designs. Includes as protected items clothing, handbags, duffel bags, tote bags, and eyeglass frames. Excludes from such protection designs embodied in a useful article made public by the designer more than six months before the registration of copyright application. Prohibits considering certain factors in determining the originality of a fashion design. Sets the term of protection at three years. Declares that it is not infringement to make, have made, import, sell, or distribute any article which was created without reasonable grounds to know that design protection is claimed. Prohibits deeming a fashion design to have been copied from a protected design if it: (1) is original and not closely and substantially similar in overall visual appearance to a protected design; (2) merely reflects a trend; or (3) is the result of independent creation. Prohibits deeming a vessel hull design to have been copied from a protected design if it is original and not substantially similar in appearance to a protected design. Applies the doctrines of secondary infringement or secondary liability to actions related to original designs. Requires that applications for design registration be made within two years after the design is made public for vessel hulls and within six months after the design is made public for fashion designs. (Current law sets such a time limit at two years for designs in general.) Increases allowable damage awards for infringement of original designs and for false representation. Requires the Register of Copyrights to establish and maintain an electronically searchable fashion design database available to the public without charge.