Feature Gems & Gemology, Fall 2003, Volume 39, No. 3

Obtaining U.S. Copyright Registration for the Elara Square Cut-Cornered Brilliant Diamond

In 2000, the U.S. Copyright Office granted what is believed to be the first copyright registration covering a gemstone design. Previously, the Copyright Office maintained that cut designs lacked artistic or sculptural authorship, and that gemstone faceting was a non-copyrightable array of common geometrical shapes in a three-dimensional object. The application to obtain copyright registration for the Elara—a square cut-cornered brilliant diamond design—was initially rejected on similar grounds. However, the position of the copyright examiner was successfully appealed to the highest level of the Copyright Office, which ultimately decided that copyright registration for the Elara cut was appropriate. This experience shows that there may be a new intellectual property vehicle available for manufacturers to protect proprietary cut designs.