IP (Work For Hire/Moral rights)

SCENARIO: 3 designers worked on a project where they were assigned to design an electric boat. They all agreed to work for a client based in Norway for 3 months at 7k euro fee. Later due to extraneous circumstances, the project timeline was extended to 9 months. The extra 6 months fee was not paid because the client was not happy with the final results. Even not happy with the final results, the client launched the boat concept and mentioned his name as the author of the work and gave credits to himself for the design. But the actual design created by 3 designers who were hired. In the whole process, the client role was to give feedback on the design but the work was created by the designers. Q1 - Is it possible for designers to ask the client to give credits to the published design concept of the boat? Credits should be given to the creators equally. Q2 - What steps do designers can take if the client denies giving credits and decide not to pay for the extra work of 6 months?

Answers (1)

164 votes

thanks for detailing the scenario and then pin point questions, it makes our job relatively easy.

A1 - It hugely depends on the agreement that the designer and the client have entered into either expressly or impliedly. If the design is exact same then the designers might have a case. Since the designers were contracted and later paid for the design, normally its assumed they have sold their design, if there's nothing to prove to the contrary. So it'll depend on the agreement between the parties to decide whether designer is entitled for equal credit or not.

A2 - The first step would be to engage a lawyer, the second would be to send the client a demand notice through the lawyer, the third would be to liaison with an attorney based in Norway and try to hire him on contingency basis. However, there is no point going for litigation/ arbitration owing to the quantum of amount involved.

All the best!

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