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Guest anke3d

selling a design

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Guest anke3d

Hello everybody!

 

I'm new to this forum, so let me introduce myself before i ask any questions.

I'm a Dutch designer. My main activity is designing furniture and interiors.I work together with a friend, our designcompany is called Proper.Besides designing, we also manufactor our designs. So our work consists of unica and small series of furniture and interior design for both companies as private individuals. (have a look on my website if you're interested)

 

So now 'the question': As a i stated above; i'm not an industrial designer, but somehow i got involved in a pitch for an industrial product :D My question concerns the copyrightissue : My client wants the copyright of this product. So i will sign away all my rights, no royalties whatsoever. What is customary in these kind of situations? This concerns a product that will be injection moulded, so not exactly a limited edition, with big start up costs aswell. I will get paid ofcourse for designing the product, but what about selling the design? Is there anyone who can tell me more about this?

 

thanks in advance,

 

anke

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Guest papicas

I think that no royalties is a bit ambitious from your client!

The designer usually gets a part of the retail price, and that goes around 3% of the retail price.

If your client is a small company, try to suggest him to pay you these royalties after the mould has been paied for (these usually tend to be very expensive). This means that you will only get your royalties if the product works. But it will also allow you to get "rewarded" if it sells well.

Hope it helps...

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Guest anke3d

thanks papicas,

 

But my client insists; it wants the copyright. In fact, if they would like to change my design they are free to do so if i sign this agreement. So i sign away all my rights and i think they should pay for that, but i don't know what is customary in this businness. How do you calculate the 'right price'? Is it product dependent? What are the circumstances to consider?

 

anke

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Guest papicas

Giving him the copyright doesn't mean that you can't have royalties.

It is normal that he wants the copyright, to make sure you won't sell your idea to somebody else. The simplest example is the music business: a music label can perfectly release a "Best of" of an artist that has a contract with them, without his authorization as long as they have the copyright for his songs, but they have to pay him royalties anyway.

As for what you should be paied for this, you have to consider the kind of company it is and it's market: you won't charge as much to a little company, with restricted market range, as to Philips, for example.

I wouldn't want to mislead you, so I really advise you to take an appointment with a lawyer that's specialised in artistic matters. He will surelly be able to advise you better, and at least you will have a legal support to discuss on the same grounds with your client. Or at least try to get in touch with your national designers association http://bno.nl to see if they can lead you.

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Guest papicas

Try this one see if it helps:

http://www.marmalade.com/article/graphicdesign.html

It's about graphic design, so the prices aren't appropriate but the theory is there.

Or this one: http://www.copyrights.co.uk/en/1/grpwil.html

Don't forget to make sure that in your contract is stipulated that every time they show your design your name is mentionned, and that you have the right to show it in your portfolio/presentations with their name on it.

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Guest anke3d

tnx papicas, i really appreciate your help and i will check the links you posted.

You are right about what you wrote about copyright and royalties. What i meant is that my client will have full control over the design i made, and my name won't be connected to it anymore after i signed the contract. So as a designer i will be completely anonymous and if i want to use the design for -let's say my portfolio- i will have to ask the client for permission.

 

I already got in contact with the BNO and i agree i need a lawyer. This is complicated stuff!

 

anke

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Guest nonex.nl

Hi Anke,

 

I have some experience with other furnituredesigncompetitions, and usually they claim the exclusive rights for reproduction for a selected period of time. The winner of a competition gets rewarded with a prize between 2500 and 5000 euro's plus a percentage of annual sales.

 

f.e.:

 

copyright:

 

any moral and paternity right regarding the project sent in for application is

designer’s property.

 

however,

by submitting a design in the competition, the participant agrees to provide

COMPANY with the right of first refusal to the exclusive use of

the design. this option is valid until 31 july 2005.

in the event that COMPANY exercises the option to use the rights for production

on an exclusive basis and sine die (without time limitations),

COMPANY undertakes to pay a a royalty of 2.5% of annual sales

 

and,

by participating in the competition, all participants authorise COMPANY to publish and exhibit all the designs (including project data submitted)

– waiving compensation – at exhibitions and events and/or to use them in any

publications that the organisers may deem suitable and/or necessary.

 

In the example above the company can publish all the submitted designs, with no compensation (kind of fair: they also promote your product), but will pay a percentage of annual sales over the used designs.

 

In marketingpitches for commercials and advertisements it is also usual to credit the design company for their work.

 

In my opinion the agreement as you described is highly unusual: no authorship for the designer and freedom to modify the design does not pay much respect to the designer. If they insist on waiving compensation for the annual sales I would say the compensation for the design should be 5000 euros plus 2.5% of the expected annual sales for over at least three years.

 

It is a product with big startup costs: so they expect to have a large number of sales to cover the costs.

With a large amount of produced items (say, for example over 100.000 a year in case of a small product, like a keychain) 1 % over annual sales could be realistic as well.

 

Still, it is a strange way of working. What kind of company are we talking about? Furniture, marketing-gadgets, household-equipment? Big or small products?

 

Good luck with the pitch! :)

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Guest anke3d

I thought this thread might be interesting for other people struggling with simular negotiations. I hope some experienced members here can help out. I will try to keep you informed, in the future this might be helpfull to others. I found it quite hard to find information on this subject on the internet.

 

If they insist on waiving compensation for the annual sales I would say the compensation for the design should be 5000 euros plus 2.5% of the expected annual sales for over at least three years.

 

They do insist. Is 2,5% a common percentage? (based on paying royalties, the kind of product, the expected number of sales? Actually based on what ?)

 

We are talking about a shop with many outlets in many cities, with mainly a household equipment collection. The number of annual sales of this particular product is about 50000.

 

tnx nonex,

 

anke

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Guest Etacovda

If the product sales are that high, INSIST on royalties. The only reason they're not wanting to give them to you, is because they do not value design - period. Essientially, you're doing all the work, and giving them thousands of dollars for nothing! stand up to them.

 

2.5%-3% is fairly common.

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