Copyright laws do protect Beauty products at Fairs & Festivals

September 2010
Are beauty products subject to copyright laws?

Image Courtesy: Maggie Smith / FreeDigitalPhotos.netImage Courtesy: Maggie Smith /

A beauty product itself is not subject to copyright laws. However copyright laws are involved with beauty products, to a degree. A product creation itself requires a patent for the creator of the product to be protected from the product being reproduced and claimed by someone else. A patent for a product is obtained from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. One must be careful to obtain the correct type of patent for the product. When an application for patent is submitted, it will be determined if the product is indeed a new product and deserving of a patent.

Additionally, when a new beauty product is being marketed, there is usually a logo or trademark image associated with the product, as there are in most other products. This may be any image, words, symbol or logo to specifically identify a product. For instance, we all know trademarks phrases such as “clean makeup,” “easy, breezy, beautiful, Cover Girl,” “Maybe She's Born With It, Maybe It's Maybelline.” We are familiar with "Great Lash" "Stilleto," and "Megalash," when considering mascaras. We know that "Signature Collection," describes certain product collections from Bath and Body Works.Therefore, the trademark for the newly patented beauty product will need to also be registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. This will entitle the patent and trademark holder to exclusive use of the patent and trademark.

A beauty product company does have some copyright protection interests, however.

Many beauty products have specific packaging or imagery designs, artistry, or jingles directly associated with their product. These do fall under copyright protection laws. Copyrights are issued to original authors of creative and artistic works, musical works, illustrations and photography. We know that there is a kangaroo associated with Aussie hair care products. Victoria's Secret has a "pink" line, and we have come to know that pink packaging associated with that line of fragrances and beauty care products, for instance. These are the aspects related to a beauty product that would have been copyrighted.

A patent is good for fourteen years. In the case of a copyright, if the copyright is obtained after 1977, the copyright gives lifetime protection to the original author. Some people choose not to register the appropriate patent, trademark or copyright related to their beauty products. In order to be assured full protection of the product, the trademark and the related artistic authorship, it is imperative that the patent, trademark and copyright all be properly registered.


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