How to get a clothing design patent [Best Answer]



Last updated : Aug 4, 2022
Written by : Kent Bernabo
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How to get a clothing design patent

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.

How much is a design patent?

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.

How do you get a design patent?

  1. Decide whether to hire a design patent attorney.
  2. Complete a patent search.
  3. File a design patent application with the USPTO.
  4. Work closely with your patent examiner.
  5. Amend or appeal your application if necessary.

Can I patent a pattern?

There is no such thing as a pattern design patent or a design patent that simply covers a picture in the abstract without regard to a tangible product.

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.

Can I patent a shirt design?

If you have a novel design for an article of clothing like a T-shirt, you can apply for a design patent. The patent establishes your ownership of the design and prevents others from using it during the patent period.

How much does it cost to patent clothing?

Cost Associated with Clothing Patent $50 to $200 Filing fee. $40 to $160 Design search fee. $150 to $600 Design patent examination fee. $1,500 to $3,500 Attorney fees.

What are the 3 types of patents?

What kind of patent do you need? There are three types of patents - Utility, Design, and Plant. Utility patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or compositions of matters, or any new useful improvement thereof.

Are design patents worth it?

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 can I get a patent with no money?

The Patent Pro Bono Program attempts to match inventors with registered patent agents or patent attorneys. These practitioners volunteer their time without charging the inventor. However, the inventor still must pay all fees that are required by the USPTO; these cannot be paid by the practitioner.

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 hard 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.

Are clothing patterns copyrighted?

In the United States, patterns are generally not eligible for copyright protection as copyright does not apply to methods or “procedures for doing, making, or building things.” Additionally, an item created from a pattern also lacks copyright protection if it is considered to be a functional object.

Can I sell something I made from a pattern?

Technically, unless the designer has gone through the extensive process of specifically Copyrighting the finished products, you can sell finished products made by any pattern out there as long as you make it known that you did not design it.

Can you trademark a clothing pattern?

If you have created a name and logo that appear on every pattern you make, you can file for a trademark to protect them.

What do you call someone who owns a clothing line?

Essentially, clothing makers would be any person or company that makes clothes. We can think of an apparel maker (clothes maker or fashion maker) as someone that produces garments or fashion accessories.

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.

Can two clothing lines have the same name?

Can Two Companies Have the Same Name? Yes, however, certain requirements must be met in order for it to not constitutes trademark infringement and to determine which party is the rightful owner of the name.

Should I copyright my Tshirt design?

Being a t-shirt designer, you must get copyright so that no other person or organization can illegally use your designs for any commercial activity. It is tempting to use an attractive image, shirt quotes, or graphics as part of your design. But any illegal use can land you in legal trouble later.

How much does it cost to copyright at shirt design?

If you are filing for copyright in the US, the registration fee will be between $35-55, depending on the case. Here's how you can copyright your t-shirt designs. It takes around 3-11 months for online applications to get processed. Mail applications can take up to two years for processing.


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How to get a clothing design patent


Comment by Luke Kabala

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 Luke Kabala, have a nice day.
- Kent Bernabo, Staff Member


Comment by Laurice

the US apparel market is huge valued in the hundreds of billions of dollars so let's talk about you a designer whether for high-end dresses graphical t-shirts hats or sunglasses can protect your intellectual property we have not yet met my name is Raymond waggonette I've been helping growing businesses protect their intellectual property for over 15 years as an IP attorney and a pretty fashionable guy I think the fashion and clothing industry provides interesting examples of the different forms of intellectual property and how they work together and the limitations of each copyright protection is available when the artistic expression is separable from the underlying article whether the design is separable can be determined by asking whether if the design if applied to a secondary medium like a canvas would qualify as a work of art without replicating the article itself people tell me this is quite a jacket and I have a feeling it's not just because of the cut of the jacket it has quite a bit of ornamentation here I've got lots of zippers these really are not functional there's no pockets here but some of the zippers are functional this one will take the sleeves off to make the sweetest best you've ever seen parts that are separable from the underlying article can be considered under the copyright protection however if the the design has some utilitarian function that part can be difficult to register for copyright protection if the new design does affect the underlying article like a new cut for shape the designer might want to consider applying for a design pattern design patents protect the visual and ornamental characteristics applied to or embedded on an article this typically includes shape and surface ornamentation in other words the design pads will protect the appearance of the article itself unlike copyright law where the existing expression is separable from the underlying article under design patent protection the patent protection is to the surface ornamentation on a specific article although there are ways to broaden this a bit so in this instance a design patent might be available for a design for the design of a jacket or vest having this particular ornamentation I find design patents a pretty good idea in instances such as new shoe designs or hats or sunglasses where it can be difficult to argue that the artistic expression is separable from the underlying article like the shoe itself however the challenge with design patents is that they must go under examination to make sure they are new and not obvious so if we were to apply for a design patent on this vest or this jacket the examiner would take a search of the prior art and see if there's anything similar out there which would render this just an obvious variation of what's already known sometimes the designer is immediately recognized by a particular feature across this product line like those fancy Ritz old shoes well the challenge with colors and color schemes is they're not really protected under copyright law because color isn't an artistic expression and the courts have held that design patent rights cannot rest on colors alone because they don't produce any new or unexpected appearance you conventionally think of trademarks as protecting brand names and logos but even colors like Tiffany blue for jewelry or red soles on shoes can function as a trademark the challenge in protecting these speeches as a trademark is that the public must must associate them with you and therefore it usually takes time for this to occur so if your design is used across a product line and distinguishes your products from others trademark protection might be available I know this has been a lot of information and there are quite a few nuances between the different forms of intellectual property available to designers so let's go over a quick take home recap first copyright protection is available to protect the artistic expression that is separable from the underlying article design patent protection is available to protect the shape and surface ornamentation as it is applied to the article trademark protection might be available if the public associates that design with you as the source and of course if your design is functional like the gerbil best there might be more intellectual property available as well if you find this content useful or interesting or if you'd like me to explore another aspect of protecting intellectual property feel free to shoot me a message or leave me a content otherwise I will see you next time


Thanks Laurice your participation is very much appreciated
- Kent Bernabo


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