How to Copyright Sewing Patterns

By Shelly Morgan

If you want to protecting sewing patterns, it's complicated. Because copyright is all about protecting expression, it can protect the original text and images appearing in the pattern, as well as the envelope used to contain the pattern. However, the protection doesn’t extend to the ideas expressed in the pattern itself. Anyone can use these ideas to create an identical design.

If you want to protecting sewing patterns, it's complicated. Because copyright is all about protecting expression, it can protect the original text and images appearing in the pattern, as well as the envelope used to contain the pattern. However, the protection doesn’t extend to the ideas expressed in the pattern itself. Anyone can use these ideas to create an identical design.

Copyright

Copyrights give the author the exclusive right to copy and distribute original works. Copyright violation is a serious offense that can give rise to substantial penalties. Registering the copyright of your pattern gives you the right to sue anyone who copies the text and images on the pattern.

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Registering the Copyright

While a copyright exists from the very moment your text is created in tangible form, such as a document or a drawing, you cannot protect it in court without registering your work with the U.S. Copyright Office. You can register the pattern using the U.S. Copyright web site. You will need to complete a form, pay a fee, and upload or mail your pattern to the U.S. Copyright Office. The form requires you to certify that you are the author. You must state the title of the pattern, your name, your birth date, the year the work was created and the date it was published. Lack of publication is not a bar to getting a copyright.

Trademark

If you are selling your pattern commercially, you can also apply for a trademark. A trademark can be any word, name, symbol or combination that tells the world that these are your patterns and not anyone else's. The whole point of a trademark is to prevent confusion in the marketplace. For example, when you buy an Apple tablet, the Apple trademark assures that you are not purchasing some knockoff of dubious quality. While the trademark won't protect your pattern, it does protect your brand.

Copyright and Fashion

The lack of intellectual property protection for fashions is a topic of hot debate. Many feel that extending copyright protection would limit designers, especially with regard to using vintage patterns or elements of vintage styles. The typical argument that copyrights provide incentive to innovate does not appear to apply to the fashion industry, which places new designs on the market every season.

Protect against infringement by registering a copyright. Get Started Now
How to Copyright Cross Stitch Designs

References

Related articles

How to Copyright Protect a Document

A copyright protects “original works of authorship” such as books, articles, plays, music and art. Copyright protection ensures that no one can use your work without your permission. You do not have to register your work in order to have legal protection, but registering with the United States Copyright Office can help you prove your ownership of the work in the event that someone uses it without your permission. To qualify for copyright protection, your work must be original and cannot be part of your employment or commissioned and paid for by someone else. Ideas, phrases, slogans, procedures and lists of common information cannot be copyrighted.

The Terms for Renewals of Copyrights

Copyright helps the creators of artistic, musical, literary and other intellectual works see the economic rewards of their creations by giving them the exclusive right to display, sell and license those works for a set period of time. Once copyright protection expires, the work enters the public domain and can be used by anyone. Copyright on newer works can't be renewed, but the copyright on some works produced before 1978 may be renewed.

How to Obtain a Trademark for a Food Recipe

You may register a trademark only for the name of your recipe or the name of the food your recipe is describing. Although trademark protection does not extend to the contents of your recipe, registering a trademark to protect the name of your concoction can prevent others from capitalizing on your market recognition. In order to protect the actual method of preparing your recipe, and any creative expression involved in your recipe, you will need to consider trade secret protection, patent law and copyright law.

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