Protecting the Fringe of Pop Culture: IP’s Role in Championing Outsiders and the Emerging Arts

Published: February 16, 2021

Brand & New

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Eamon Chawke

Éamon Chawke Briffa Solicitors United Kingdom

Intellectual property (IP) law is engineered to foster innovation and creativity. In some countries, the way IP applies to traditional forms of creativity such as music, painting, design, or even perfumes is understood and accepted. But, at least in principle, it may be less obvious when it comes to emerging popular forms of art, such as street and body art.

How does IP apply to street and body arts? Who owns what? What are the competing rights at stake—those of the owner of the building on which a graffiti is painted or the person bearing the tattoo? Beyond copyright, can trademark registration provide artists with additional protection? How does all of this play out on social media, the emerging arts’ favorite exhibition forum nowadays.

Éamon Chawke, a Partner with Briffa Solicitors, a boutique law firm in the United Kingdom, provides insight. Specializing in the protection, management, exploitation, and enforcement of IP, he has a broad spectrum of clients that include authors, agents, and publishers, as well as clothing, furniture, and graphic designers.

Related Resources

About Éamon Chawke

Also of interest:

Banksy and His Uneasy Relationship with IP, Éamon Chawke

Copyright is for Losers? Éamon Chawke

IP Watchdog: Social Media Influencers, Beware Street Art Is Protected by Copyright

The New York Times: Banksy’s Attempt to Trademark a Graffiti Image Is Thrown Out

Harvard Law Review: Accession on the Frontiers of Property

INTA Bulletin: The Art of EU Trademark Registrations: Is Intention to Use Now Required?

INTA Bulletin: The Unintended Consequences of Copyright and Trademark Protection in Design

INTA Board Resolution: Copyright Protection for Trademarked Materials

About Brand & New

Brand & New podcasts from the International Trademark Association

Our hosts discuss compelling business and legal topics relating to intellectual property, innovation, technology, and change with an international roster of influential experts and industry visionaries.

Brand & New guests contribute to this podcast in their personal capacity, and the opinions expressed (or experiences shared) are their own. They do not purport to reflect the views or opinions of INTA or our members.

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