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Type Copyright : Activity

Type Copyright

Hand-picked Links

 • ATypI: Typeface Protection
 • Deutsche Patent- und Markenrecht: Geschmacksmuster
 • Deutsche Patent- und Markenrecht: Verfahren zu Schutzrechten
 • Emigre: Arguments Against Copyright Protection of Typefaces and Our Responses, by Patricia Lillie
 • Gesetz zum Wiener Abkommen vom 12. Juni 1973 über den Schutz typographischer Schriftzeichen und ihre internationale Hinterlegung (Schriftzeichengesetz)
 • Microsoft: FontShop wins landmark case (and other stories)
 • Terrence J. Carroll: comp.fonts FAQ (compiled by Norman Walsh)
 • Terrence J. Carroll: Protection For Typeface Designs: A Copyright Proposal
 • TLÖN Forum: Copyright & Fonts In The Age of Cyber Space by Jane Patterson
 • TypeRight
 • Valentin Blank: Schriftschutz. Schutz typographischer Schriftzeichen und Schriften im schweizerischen Immaterialgüter- und Lauterkeitsrecht [PDF]

Type Copyright

According to the reports of Roman Tomaszewski (1921–92) published in the Polish type-related magazines which he co-edited (Litera, 1966–78, and proTypo, 1991–93), the Association Typographique Internationale (ATypI) was very engaged into the preparation of the so-called Typefaces Act (Vienna Agreement of June 12, 1973, for the Protection of Type Faces and their International Deposit). The act was an attempt to organize an international typeface protection system under the agenda of WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization).

Quoting a translation of Roman Tomaszewski’s article from proTypo 3/1992:

In the last thirty years there is much international interest dedicated to the artistic and industrial protection of typefaces, which is supported by ATYPI, which is as we all know a non-governmental organization affiliated with UNESCO. ...

In 1973 an important international diplomatic conference was held in Vienna.

It was organized by the government of Austria, and the materials were prepared by the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva. At this meeting, the delegates of several dozens countries discussed, amended, and established three new conventions, since then called the Vienna agreements. Those were:

  1. on the registration of trademarks
  2. on the classification of figurative elements of marks
  3. on the protection of typefaces.

Regarding the third agreement, it was signed by 11 countries. It was ratified only by parliaments of France and the Federal Republic of Germany. The agreement can become valid only after at least three more countires have signed it.

After signing the Vienna agreements, the legal affairs regarding the protection of typefaces in Poland were analyzed by Janusz Barta and Maria Pozniak-Niedzielska. An extensive analysis of the Vienna agreement and its genesis was published in Köln by Günter Kelbel, and a review of that book was given by the author of these words. ...

More information about the planned typeface protection under the Vienna Agreement, and about other aspects of type copyright, can be found at:

  • Brinkhoff, Susanne: Computerschriftzeichenschutz : der Schutz typographischer Schriftzeichen — insbesondere Computerschriften — durch das Schriftzeichengesetz und andere Vorschriften. In: Computer im Recht, Vol. 4. Marburg: Elwert, 1995. (German, Protection of computer typefaces: the protection of typeface characters — particularly computer typefaces — through the Typefaces Act and other legal documents)
  • Kelbel, Günter: Der Schutz typographischer Schriftzeichen (German, Protection of typographic characters). Carl Heymanns Verlag, Köln 1984, ss. 387.
  • Barta, Janusz: Ochrona prawna kroju pisma drukarskiego (Polish, Legal protection of a typeface). Zesz. Nauk. Uniw. Jagiellonskiego, Prace z wynalazczosci i prawa autorskiego, Vol 5. Krakow. pp. 121–125.
  • Pozniak-Niedzielska, Maria: Wzory zdobnicze i ich ochrona (Polish, Design patterns and its protection). Wydawn. Prawnicze, Warszawa 1978, p. 216.

People in the field of Type Copyright

We know of 6 people who work in this field:

Charles Bigelow
Cynthia Hollandsworth Batty
King Louis XIV
Chris MacGregor
Charles Peignot
Hermann Zapf

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