Can You Copyright Your Design?

by Debra
(New York)

In the past I've created a unique design, which sold well at a craft show.

I showed up at another show and noticed that one of the other designers had copied my design.

She had copied it exactly! I didn't say anything, but she knew that I knew.

Is there anything that an indie designer can do to kind of protect her creative designs?

Thank you,

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Jun 17, 2012
by: gracioushandscrochet.ecrater.com

Face it. If your design are nice and selling of course someone will copy it. You have to expect this.

Try and advertise you're design with photos on flyers etc. with your name as the original designer at the show or wherever.

You can copyright but chances are it won't.

Oct 31, 2010
Copyright Designs...
by: Jean

Is it really possible to get a copyright to a jewellery design? I notice lots of the 'big hole' bracelets, and that was all the rage a while back when some designer or company came out with their design. If it is possible to copyright a design, I'd expect those large hole charms to be a copyrighted design. What I notice is that nobody uses the Pandora name, so I am wondering if what they can copyright is the name Pandora for a big-hole charm.

A few months ago,I thought I was brilliant in the way I laid out some stones for a piece I was making, and doggone it if I didn't see the same thing elsewhere online (and it was a friend who posted it!).

I hope we can copyright original designs. I'll investigate the links as they are posted and look into copyrighting some of my own patterns. Thanks!

Sep 14, 2009
What are Starter Links 4 USPO?
by: wirebodyart

Hi Anonymous & Katie!

Thanks for the easy steps to file a simple copyright solution on LegalZoom.com.

Katie, do you have the time to post 2-4 USPO links? Whenever I've gone to US Patent Office website, I get completely lost!

I'd greatly appreciate your help posting a link for us for:

- general craft artisans categories
- a link listing wire jewelry design submissions in the craft sub-categories
- a link for forms pertaining to jewelry design submissions and
- the best link explaining how to submit a patent.

Juli ;)

Jul 11, 2009
by: Anonymous

I had the same problem when someone copied my work.

I did not mind so badly that she copied. It was the fact that she stated that it was her design.

So, I got my designs copyrighted at LegalZoom.com and it was $150.00 total and I could have as many items as I wanted.

It was really easy and if you have questions you can call them or email them.

Disclaimer from admin: This is not an endorsement of legalzoom. We've never had any experience with them so the advice above is the writer's and how-to-make-jewelry.com takes no responsibility for its validity.

Mar 21, 2009
by: Katie

Yes, in the U.S., since the late 1970s, when you create your design it is automatically copyrighted.

Unfortunately if you rely on common law copyright and have not registered it with the USPTO.gov, then you may have a very difficult time proving it is your original design.

You may also have a more difficult time proving it was not in the public domain.

Some producers of written or drawn works will mail themselves a copy of the work, using the postmark on the unopened envelop as proof of date of origin.

Of course here the key is not to open the envelope, saving that for if and when you may have to prove through court action that the design is indeed yours.

The safest way to protect your (c) is to register it with the US Patent and Trade Office (uspto.com).

It's been a while since I registered a copyright with them, so you'll have to check to see what the rates are now.

Sometimes people will respond to a simple cease and desist request, but you may also need to make the request in writing and/or get an attorney involved.

Good luck, and hope this information helps.


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