The Copyright Panel

The Svensk Form Copyright Panel is an impartial expert body within Svensk Form (the Swedish Society of Crafts and Design). The panel’s task is to express an opinion regarding copyright protection for works of applied art.

The term ”applied art” refers to utilitarian objects which can be copyright protected as artistic works. For example, such works can be the result of industrial design, the decorative arts, crafts, or handicrafts. The Copyright Panel also has the task of expressing an opinion on whether a copyright-protected work of applied art has been plagiarised and on whether a specific action conflicts with good business practice or the artistic code of honour.These tasks have been performed since the end of the 1920s and have led to the expression of several hundred opinions. The panel’s role as an expert body in judging issues of copyright protection for applied art has been recognised by the head of the Swedish Ministry of Justice on page 136 of the government bill number 1969:168. Furthermore, Swedish courts trying cases of copyright protection about which the panel has expressed an opinion have regularly agreed with the panel’s assessment.

The Copyright Panel’s articles of association stipulate that the panel consists of a chairperson with experience as a magistrate, seven members of the panel and one secretary. The members shall represent artistic and business expertise as comprehensively as possible. The Copyright Panel never takes on a case on its own initiative. Rather, an individual, company, law court or other authority must first submit an application. After the application has been received and the case has been prepared, among other things by the exchange of letters, the panel holds a meeting. If the case concerns unlawful copying, the parties concerned are summoned to the meeting. Some time after the meeting, the Copyright Panel issues a written opinion. The cost of an assessment is SEK 29,500.
On request, the case and subsequent opinion can be treated confidentially by the Copyright Panel. The opinions expressed by the Copyright Panel that are not confidential are published in bound volumes together with depictions of the works of applied art that were the subject of the assessment. To date, four volumes have been published and can be purchased from Svensk Form.

For more information please contact Anita Christiansen.