The Tata’s premium diamond jewellery brand Zoya recently unveiled its new line, ‘Samāvé’, an all-white collection made of diamonds in rose and white gold for a selection of rings, earrings, neckpieces and bracelets. In the spirit of interpreting the fable of women, water and life, the design inspiration for the Samāvé collection are the ancient step-wells or ‘Baoli’ of Rajasthan and Gujarat. A special ‘Zoya Baoli’ setting has been used by Zoya’s design team. To pretect it from copycats, Zoya has registered its first design patent for this ‘Zoya Baoli’ setting.
This is Zoya’s first patent registered autograph collection. The patented setting consists of four baguette cut diamonds, a step-cut befitting the inspiration theme, which are set in an unusual innovative manner around a centre brilliant cut diamond. Each baguette diamond is set at a slant, revolving around the centre. The high technical challenge is to ensure a consistent levelling and perfect placement of the inclined stones as well as balancing out typical inaccuracies of the baguette cut, inclined towards trapeze, to match the perfect geometry of the outer square. Another challenge for the setter is the inaccessibility of the inside areas for precise shaping of the prongs after hammering. The challenges were overcome by casting the diamonds in metal directly. The smart use of this mass manufacturing technique was enabled by using a high grade of diamond quality to ensure the diamonds could take the furnace heat. An ‘Azure cut’ window of the setting area behind the stones ensured that polishing tools could reach to smooth the casting surface and bring out the full lustre of the diamonds.
Indian jewellery design traditions are unique to each state and region of the country. The skilled jewelry craftsmen often work for several jewelry houses. Yet, there are not many instances of jewelry design copywrite registration in India, leave alone a patent on design. Although, many fashion houses have begun to acquire copyright protection for their apparel design. As we found out, the difference between copyright protection versus patent protection is that a copyright protects the tangible expression of an idea but not the idea itself, in contrast to a patent, which protects the ideas and concepts for the exclusive use and financial benefit of the inventor. Although the hurdles to registration of a design patent can be higher than for copyrights, design patents can also be valuable enforcement tools. Van Cleef & Arpels had a copyright protection for its Vintage Alhambra Necklace, a simple clover leaf design, but made popular by international celebrities for decades. This was copied and challenged in court a few times, but always ruled in favor of Van Cleef & Arpels, until July 2020, when the China National Intellectual Property Administration (“CNIPA”) agreed to a case filed in 2018, to have the trademark registration invalidated.
So far, Zoya has filed for only an India Patent for its Zoya Baoli design. No decision has been taken yet on other regions.