Can i patent a design for clothing [No Fluff]

Last updated : Aug 28, 2022
Written by : Lina Nanas
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Can i patent a design for clothing

Are clothing patterns patented?

Clothing can be patented. Most of the time, you would patent the unique design of your apparel with a design patent. This is because you are claiming invention of the unique look of the clothing and not the clothing itself.

Can design be patented?

A design patent may be granted if the product has a distinct configuration, distinct surface ornamentation or both. In other words, a design patent provides protection for the ornamental design of something that has a practical utility.

How much does it cost to patent a clothing brand?

In most cases, the patent fee gets reduced if you have established a micro or small entity. For design patent filing, here are the fees involved: Basic filing fee: $220. Design search fee $160.

How do I trademark a clothing design?

No, you cannot trademark clothing design. Since clothing designs are the blueprints for physical goods, you can't trademark them. This information was provided by our founding attorney, Xavier Morales, Esq. If you are considering starting a clothing line, you should trademark your brand name and logo.

How do you patent a Tshirt design?

Online Registration Complete the online application for your T-shirt design. Visit the electronic Copyright Office (eCO) online at Click "Forms" under the "Registration" heading. Type into the form to complete it.

Is it worth getting a design patent?

Design patents are worth it if you have a design that makes your product or article sell. Said differently, if your design encourages your customers to purchase your product, then obtaining a design patent for your product may be worth investing your time and money.

How much does it cost to patent a design?

The basic filing fee for a design patent application is $760 for a large entity. A small entity's fee is $380, while a micro-entity's fee is $190. If you hire a patent lawyer to assist with preparing documents and filing the design patent application, the cost could be around $1,500-$3,000.

Should I copyright or trademark my clothing line?

So certain patterns that are original works for authorship can be and should be copyrighted. So as you see, copyright protects more of the artistic patterns and artwork designs on clothing, whereas trademarks protect the name, logo, or slogan used to identify the brand of the clothing company.

How do I protect my clothing brand name?

You can protect your Clothing Brand by filing a trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Trademark registration comes with exclusive legal protections for your brand, including your brand name, logo, and catchphrase.

How much does it cost to copyright a clothing design?

The registration fee can be anywhere between $35-55, depending on the case. If you file for copyright online, it can take around 3-11 months to get processed.

Should I trademark my Tshirt design?

You should copyright your t-shirt designs and trademark your brand name and logo to protect them legally. But don't stress about copyright and trademark too early– legal protection is not necessary to start your t-shirt business, but is recommended if the funds are available. It's definitely necessary as you progress.

When should I trademark my clothing brand?

If you intend to break into this market with a unique new brand, you need to protect your intellectual property from infringement. The best way to secure this protection is by registering your brand as an official trademark.

What is the difference between patent and trademark?

What's the Difference Between Patents and Trademarks? A patent allows the creator of certain kinds of inventions that contain new ideas to keep others from making commercial use of those ideas without the creator's permission. Trademarks, on the other hand, are not concerned with how a new technology is used.

Can you patent sayings on T-shirts?

No. Patents do not protect phrases and written expressions. Phrases used in connection with a tee shirt may be eligible for either trademark or copyright protection provided the requirements for registration of each are met.

What can I legally put on a shirt?

This is a very sweeping question and the answer will depend on the specific circumstances. But for a safe answer: you can print anything on a t-shirt that is under public domain without infringing copyright laws.

How do you avoid copyright infringement with T-shirts?

  1. Check material for its copyright before using it.
  2. Find non-copyrighted materials.
  3. Pay for designs.
  4. Change existing designs to make them your own.
  5. Create your designs from scratch.

How long do design patents last?

For design patents, the period is 14 years from date of issuance. (Design patents are issued for ornamental designs of functional items). For plant patents, the period is 17 years from date of issuance.

How difficult is it to get a design patent?

Design patents have always been easy to obtain, indeed, far easier to obtain than a utility patent. Of course, as with many things in life and with virtually everything in the realm of intellectual property law, the easier something is to obtain the less valuable it is to own.

How long does it take to patent a design?

You may be wondering, “How long does it take to get a design patent?” A typical design patent will take between one and three years for approval. This may depend on whether the design is issued instantly, whether there is a dispute with the USPTO, or if modification for formal issues is required.

How do I protect my design from being copied?

  1. Protect Your Brand With a Trademark.
  2. Protect Your Brand With a Registered Mark.
  3. Protect Your Brand With a Patent.

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Can i patent a design for clothing

Comment by Irwin Wiegman

hi everyone welcome to my channel if this is your first time seeing my face i am jaleesa your friendly neighborhood lawyer welcome to another episode of alien in the courtroom series a series aimed at helping young entrepreneurs and business professionals and making better legal decisions for their brands today's video is all about patent law i saw a photo circulating around on twitter the other day and it got me really excited to talk about patent law with you guys especially patent law within the fashion industry there's so few examples of that happening within the fashion world but if you let social media tell it everything is you better patent that before fashion nova takes it you better patent that before louis vuitton takes it lay people social media artists creatives designers um just people who are non-lawyers which are referred to as lay people use the word patent as synonymous with protection and though that is true to an extent to a degree a patent is a particular and very specific type of protection that doesn't apply to a lot of situations out there and of course not everyone has found my channel yet so they don't even know that they're using the words incorrectly they might not ever even enter into a venture where they would have to use these words correctly but we're gonna make sure that my young entrepreneurs and business professionals know how to use this word properly and know how it actually works within their business let's get into the video as always it is important that i note that these videos are intended for educational purposes only in no way should you consider me to be your personal lawyer and if you should have any questions that are specific to your brand then please seek outside counsel just some disclaimers before we really get into this video there are a couple things that i want the general public entrepreneurs to know when it comes to patent law firstly patents cost money design patents have generally not been pursued within the fashion industry because they are often prohibitively expensive they can cost anywhere between six thousand to ten thousand dollars and a lot of young artists entrepreneurs do not have that money on hand as you can imagine and a lot of big designers do not find that filing for a design patent is worth the hassle secondly patenting is very special and a lot of companies business professionals young entrepreneurs may never actually patent anything within their business it is so special in fact that to be a patent attorney some of the people that are making really some of the big bucks within intellectual property in the entertainment field you are required to have a science and engineering background you need that science and engineering background in order to file for a patent for a client and it's also required that they take an additional bar exam so not only do they have to take the bar exam that all lawyers have to take in order to practice but they have to take a patent bar exam it costs a lot of money to patent things and it costs a lot of money to hire a lawyer because let me tell you now a patent is not something that you can file on your own you're going to want a patent attorney to help you file a claim it is such a technical process i wish i had known in undergrad that you were going to need a science engineering background in order to do patent law i wish i knew an undergrad that fashion law or anything like this even existed i think i just was oblivious to this whole area of law and i think a lot of people are because you guys are now only finding out about me and a lot of you said that you didn't know a fashion lawyer even existed so unfortunately a lot of people are restricted from becoming a patent attorney later on because you don't have that science engineering background and thirdly i kind of mentioned this before but it's barely recommended for you to do something like this yourself yes you may have the science and engineering background but a patent lawyer can really help you figure out if you're thinking too broadly or too narrowly about your claim if you haven't already please be sure to check out episode 1 of this series where i explain the differences between trademark law copyright law and patent law but just for a refresher i'm going to insert a clip from that episode to explain what patent law is patent law is divided into three different types of patents there are utility patents design patents and plan patents which are for new species of plants which might not be useful to anyone watching this video utility patent refers to protection of new and useful processes machines manufacturers or composition of matters or any new and useful improvements of such the invention must be new useful and non-obvious and again these terms can be broken down into specific definitions but for the purposes of this video we'll leave it as new useful and non-obvious utility patents last for 20 years from the date of filing and they refer to what you typically think a patent is an invention so it's possibly everywhere around you right now in your house it could be your dishwasher it can be your microwave it can be your water cooler um your cell phone your camera lens your diva ring light all of those things are possible for patent protection they are technology based they're a machine and they can possibly have a unique component that was not thought of in a previous design and can obtain patent registration so expanding on that topic when a fashion designer will actually obtain a utility patent is when there is a new and useful invention or a new and useful and non-obvious machine method process invention although the fashion industry utility patents aren't as common as other industries sometimes inventions do happen and inventors will get utility patents some examples of this are a collapsible shoe a wrinkle-free garment a handbag with an interchangeable liner something that's anti-sweat maybe a 3d processing machine and nike actually has an automatic lacing system built within their shoe so i guess the sneaker automatically laces as soon as you put your foot within it that's really cool and that's something worthy of a utility patent there's a catch however the sneakers can only be bought by users of the nike plus app those interested will need to sign up for an account and wait for updates the hyper adapt will come in three colors white gray and black when you step in your heel will hit a sensor and the system will automatically tighten then there are two buttons on the side to tighten and loosen you can adjust it until it's perfect even something that would make you invisible like the cloak in harry potter or something anti-aging as long as you wear this item you'll never die oh that was also from harry potter too the guy that was wearing the ah harry potter has some utility patents on their hands those are very extreme examples but you get what i'm saying it has to be new useful non-obvious in order to receive a utility patent design patents on the other hand are a lot more common within the fashion industry and they are all about protecting unique ornamental

Thanks for your comment Irwin Wiegman, have a nice day.
- Lina Nanas, Staff Member

Comment by Kena

my name is Mindy Martell I'm the president of clothier design source and we helped new apparel entrepreneurs develop and manufacture their clothing here in the US and today I have with me Olivia and Olivia once you tell us a little bit about yourself and your profession sure Mindy my name is Olivia Betty I'm a partner at Neil Gerber in Eisenberg in Chicago so I'm a I do IP litigation these days I help people enforce and defend against intellectual property which is patents trademarks copyrights trade secret issues whether it's infringement or theft and before that I helped inventors get patents so I did that for a couple years and before that I was a patent examiner with the United States Patent and Trademark Office helping to either grant or deny patents to inventors awesome awesome so I thought if we could get together and be really beneficial for our audience to learn more about how patents might apply to the apparel world mm-hm we get a lot of really cool inventors and entrepreneurs here who are looking to do something really unique and it's a question we get asked all the time you know if they can patent their product and if it is patentable what kind of patents and you know what process they would have to go through and all bad so so today one of my first questions I wanted to ask you about is I know I know enough to be dangerous right zero right so efficient right so I know that there's two different kind of patents in general that people that are making apparel might go down like two different routes right I mean you can always correct me if I'm wrong here but so there's like a design patent and a utility patent in Iraq we've kind of dealt with both of those okay but it'd be really great if you could sort of tell us you know from a high level what the difference is between those two kinds of patents sure absolutely Mindy so the utility patent is a patent that an inventor cadet can get for an invention that provides use it's got to be functional it's got to be useful there's got to be some kind of improvement to something that was done before or something completely novel that helps you do something versus a design patent which is purely ornamental it cannot be functional it can't be I can't serve some kind of a use in any way besides being aesthetically different or pleasing looking to help you identify the source of that good so you've got the functional versus the aesthetics basically and there are a lot of differences between the two beyond that that's the highest level with which one's more expensive I guess to apply for so the utility patent is a lot more expensive than a design patent but you shouldn't look at it from price first of all because usually your invention is going to dictate which one you can get beyond that though there are some you can maybe have a decision that's based on that but that's the way further on but first you have to figure out which one it is but the utility patent is a lot more expensive it's gonna be between twenty-five to thirty thousand dollars to get that patent and it takes about two to three years for an examiner to even get their hands on that patent because of the backlog and that the months and months of time that it takes for the patent examiner to go through the prior art which is what has been done before and the design patent which is could be anywhere between two to five thousand dollars so much much less and those are taking about a year to get through the Patent Office these days okay so much less money and less time but now the two of them also have different things that they give you okay so both patents give you monopolies so when you get a patent as an inventor you don't get a right to make your invention or makes it and sell your invention you're getting a right to keep others from making using selling your invention so basically the US government is giving you a monopoly on this invention utility patent you get 20 years from the date of filing okay your application for your monopoly for a design patent you get 15 years from the date of grant of your design patent for your monopoly and utility patent on top of this huge cost and it takes to get it through the Patent Office you have to pay a maintenance fee every year and it usually several hundred thousand dollars in the design patent there's no maintenance fees so there's all these differences between the two patents that's really great so again I do want to dive into examples but questions about protections so two two things that I'm thinking about so the utility patent as you said it's it's cost more money it takes more time to get it done it's more work but if I were a apparel brand owner and I was able to do a utility patents my company most likely is going to be worth a lot more money in the end if I have a utility patent if I'm able to get a utility patent versus a design patent depends it does depends but if it's if it's more of an invention type garment yes I would I would think it'd be worth more money I guess you know that's a good good point you said depends I'd like to know more about that but I would think it'd be worth more money as a brand because now I have a monopoly on that type of invention that I'm making well you get the monopoly in the design patent too so let's dive into some examples because I think that will help them everyone who's watching kind of distinguish between the two it's not really just one cost more and cost less it gives you more of a leg up in the industry so it's more what it is so some examples of a utility patent in your industry maybe a puffy jacket that folds into a bag or right now I think there's a hoodie now that has a beer bottle that you can put in the front of your pocket the DVF wrap dress that's functional that's the utility patent there's one and I have I fold it to show you is a the convertible bra so there was an inventor in 2002 who filed this application on a convertible bra where nowadays it's 2019 we just think of course you can have a convertible bra you can do a strapless one shoulder you know race the rack whatever it is but I guess in 2002 there was no patent on this bra and it wasn't really widely available okay so the inventor took two years I guess to get it through the Patent Office and what this is so this is the front of a utility patent you've got the inventors name you've got the number which nowadays I think we're in the 10th at ten thousands and this one's in ten millions and this is six million okay but you have the summary of it you've got figures and then you have in the back what are called patent claims and in this there are nine claims and they're all written it's all text and what's tough about utility patent maybe white cost so much as being someone who actually drafted these as well it's almost not normal English and visa this is the metes and bounds of what you own at the end and it's almost like a real estate deed this invention in even just reading the first three lines of it improves but brassiere the type having a garment body having a pair of cups with body facing surfaces having free upper edges and a pair of torso bans so it goes o

Thanks Kena your participation is very much appreciated
- Lina Nanas

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