If I use old Patent Drawings as art, does it Violate Copyright or Patent law?

What do you mean by Patent?

Patents are a government-issued license that gives an inventor the exclusive ability, for a period of time, to make, use, or sell an invention of their creation. Usually, the inventor will submit a drawing and description of the invention that they intend to have patented. Once approved by the Patent Office the license is issued and the inventor has sole rights to production of the item.

How do you make a Patent Drawing?

Recently, there has been a market for consumers to purchase patent drawings and descriptions as artwork, which leads to the question at hand. Is creating artwork from a patent drawing a violation of copyright rules?

The simple answer is no, but there is a bit more to it. As stated, a patent stops others from manufacturing or using the invention without the permission of the inventor during the active life of the patent. However, creating an artwork of the patent does not compromise the inventor’s ability to stop others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the United States or importing the invention into the United States for a limited time. So, if you are a fan of Thomas Edison and wish to create or purchase art work containing one of or all of Mr. Edison’s one thousand ninety-three patents feel free to do so without worry of being sued for copyright infringement.

EPGD Business Law is located in beautiful Coral Gables. Call us at (786) 837-6787, or contact us through the website to schedule a consultation.

*Disclaimer: this blog post is not intended to be legal advice. We highly recommend speaking to an attorney if you have any legal concerns. Contacting us through our website does not establish an attorney-client relationship.*

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Eric Gros-Dubois

Eric P. Gros-Dubois founded EPGD Business Law in 2013 and is the current head of the firm’s corporate, estate planning, and tax practice, and manages the firm’s Washington D.C. office. With a JD and MBA, and a specialization in finance, Eric is able to step back and view the legal world through a commercial lens while also acting as a trusted business advisor for his clients. He does his best to be solutions oriented, and tries to think like a business owner, not just a lawyer.


*The following comments are not intended to be treated as legal advice. The answer to your question is limited to the basic facts presented. Additional details may heavily alter our assessment and change the answer provided. For a more thorough review of your question please contact our office for a consultation.



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