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Thread: Copy right...what's the bottom line?

  1. #11
    Senior Member Butterfli19's Avatar
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    I think this got lost on the other thread but this is from an attorney in the state of NH.

    I posed this question a few yeas ago to an Intellectual Property Attorney and this was her response:

    ****
    This is my question – can I purchase a pattern – any pattern – and make that product for resale.

    Update 3/15/10: I called an IP (Intellectual Property) lawyer this morning and she said that what you make from patterns is not protected under copyright. All that is protected is the pattern itself. Sew forth and multiply.
    *****

    Unless the design is unique rather than common there are so many variations of the finished product the designer cannot make this statement. Think patchwork pattern, the "basic black dress", shorts or tank top patterns, child's sundress pattern, tote bag. They all follow the same fundamentals but the outcome is different.
    Nancy

    Just keep sewing!

  2. #12
    Super Member 0tis's Avatar
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    I had the same question about Bow tucks - I emailed the woman who wrote the pattern and she told me I could make and sell all the totes I wanted as long as I made them on my home machine and not in a factory. So your friend will be ok to sell them.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlong View Post
    Sorry, I misspoke. I meant trademarked or licensed material, things like Disney, etc. You can't legally resell the material, but you can make items from it and sell them. You cannot, however, advertise them as a Disney product. (example a Mickey Mouse purse)
    you can sell trademarked fabric...you can NOT sell items made from that fabric! Especially Collegiate fabrics..OY do they love to take your stuff if you don't pay them $150 a year per school to sell your UNIQUE handcrafted items using their licensed fabric!

  4. #14
    Member tabberone's Avatar
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    Sure you can sell the items, you just can't title them in such a way as to confuse the public into thinking they are licensed items. And you should always include a disclaimer.

    "they take your stuff" - where does that statement come from?

    Precious Moments v La Infantil, 971 F. Supp. 66 (D.P.R. 1997). Precious Moments sues to stop La Infantil from making and selling bedding from copyrighted, licensed fabric. Court ruled bedding items manufactured with lawfully acquired, authentic fabric with copyrighted design were not infringing derivative works, Court did require La Infantil to attach a notice with a disclaimer. Precious Moments lost because of the First Sale Doctrine.

    Scarves By Vera, Inc. v. American Handbags, Inc, 188 F. Supp. 255 - US: Dist. Court, SD New York 1960. Vera markets a line of women's products and accessories. American Handbags began using her towels with her logos on them to make handbags. Vera sued. The court dismissed her claims but did require American Handbags to include a better disclaimer.

    And read here:

    http://www.tabberone.com/Trademarks/.../Schools.shtml

  5. #15
    Super Member athenagwis's Avatar
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    I think the best thing you said on your site tabberone is about how it would be if a car company could restrict where you can drive the car you buy from them. that just hits home how silly all this supposed restriction on the end product really is.

    Just because the companies' try to stop someone from selling items made from "licensed" fabrics does not make it legal, but do you have the money to pay an attorney to go against them anyway? So while it may technically be legal to make items from "licensed" fabric, until everyone gets that memo and stops trying to sue people that make items from their fabrics, I would tread carefully.

    Rachel

  6. #16
    Member tabberone's Avatar
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    We never had an attorney. We learned stuff when M&M/Mars sued us. A 396 page 4 lb lawsuit where they threatened to bankrupt us. We stumbled on the Precious Moments case and First Sale Doctrine. That's all we had against the #3 ranked IP law firm in the east. When we fought back they settled in our favor. Corporations are bullies.

    Several years ago (sadly after we had sued our last fabric company) the Stanford School of Law took us on as a class project and provided us with two law suits to use if we had any more problems. We didn't but another seller we know got shut down by Laurel Burch, used the suit on our website and got them to settle in her favor.

    The key point is that a school like Stanford wouldn't have done this if we were in the wrong.

    And we don't know of any other suits where people got sued for using the fabric. Precious Moments was back in 1996. Mars against us was 2002 and they settled. If you know of any other suits we would love to get that information.

  7. #17
    Super Member Christine-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaciqltznok View Post
    you can sell trademarked fabric...you can NOT sell items made from that fabric! Especially Collegiate fabrics..OY do they love to take your stuff if you don't pay them $150 a year per school to sell your UNIQUE handcrafted items using their licensed fabric!
    jaciqltznok, I'm not sure why you insist on telling folks they can't sell items made using licensed fabric? Yes, you can sell clothes you made using licensed college fabrics. I personally have explained this to you when you've made this statement in other threads. You probably missed seeing them so I thought I'd repeat it here. I hope I'm not offending you by pointing this out, I'm only trying to help all the fighting to die down.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaciqltznok View Post
    you can sell trademarked fabric...you can NOT sell items made from that fabric! Especially Collegiate fabrics..OY do they love to take your stuff if you don't pay them $150 a year per school to sell your UNIQUE handcrafted items using their licensed fabric!
    Source? How can they just take your stuff?

    Im pretty sure they can tell you that you can't sell, but they can't actually enforce it. You can't create an appliqué using solid fabric in the design of a trademarked logo/character and you have to be careful in your wording. If you use Mickey mouse fabric to make a blanket you shouldn't sell it as a "Mickey mouse blanket" but rare a "blanket made with Mickey mouse fabric" if that makes sense. You couldn't use solid colored fabric and turn it into a mickey mouse face and sell it though.

  9. #19
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    make tote bags your own way. change things. making tote bags is generally done in the same manner, but change some designs and it's "yours" to do with as you wish. designers are trying to make money, who can blame them? but we all need money these days and we all have brains. good luck.

  10. #20
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaciqltznok View Post
    you can sell trademarked fabric...you can NOT sell items made from that fabric! Especially Collegiate fabrics..OY do they love to take your stuff if you don't pay them $150 a year per school to sell your UNIQUE handcrafted items using their licensed fabric!
    Please tell us of YOUR ..FIRST Hand knowledge on this point.

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