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Designing a shirt

 
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Old 2 Days Ago Sep 5, 2019 8:33:48 AM -   #1 (permalink)
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Default Designing a shirt

Hi, I’m new to this community and searching for information regarding making shirts with designs out there and the etiquette.

I currently have a children’s boutique and have had many requests to make shirts with popular “sayings” but in children’s sizes. I have never made shirts in this capacity before and I am unaware of the etiquette when copying someone else’s designs. It’s it absolutely against rules or can you change design and font of saying. If it is trademarked, how do I go about checking sayings to see that info.

Thank you for any help and direction!!
 
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Old 1 Day Ago Sep 5, 2019 4:25:08 PM -   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Designing a shirt

Basically no amount of change is something you can do if you are going to copy someone's work without permission. If you want to use the work of someone you need to obtain written permission.

We had a customer that had started a brand and after they started selling shirts they received a C&D from K-Mart of all places for trademark infringement.

Now there are ridiculous ones such as VW show claims they own the word Bug and there is Java that sent a C&D to a company named Javacan or something like that which happened not only to be the persons last name but also predated Java. The same with the NFL trying to trademark The Big Game which had been in use for many years prior to the Superbowl. The fun one was a kid who started his own company using his name, Mike Rowe and he started MikeRoweSoft and was sued by Microsoft. They settled out of court.

Here is where you can find trademarks TESS -- Error
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Old 1 Day Ago Sep 5, 2019 5:38:42 PM -   #3 (permalink)
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[“QUOTE=binki;4444195]Basically no amount of change is something you can do if you are going to copy someone's work without permission. If you want to use the work of someone you need to obtain written permission.

We had a customer that had started a brand and after they started selling shirts they received a C&D from K-Mart of all places

Now there are ridiculous ones such as VW show claims they own the word Bug and there is Java that sent a C&D to a company named Javacan or something like that which happened not only to be the persons last name but also predated Java. The same with the NFL trying to trademark The Big Game which had been in use for many years prior to the Superbowl. The fun one was a kid who started his own company using his name, Mike Rowe and he started MikeRoweSoft and was sued by Microsoft. They settled out of court.

Here is where you can find trademarks TESS -- Error[/QUOTE]



Thank you so much for the information! I appreciate
 
 
Old 1 Day Ago Sep 5, 2019 5:46:57 PM -   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Designing a shirt

As noted, the TESS database is where to check for trademark. Note, if there is no Registration Number and no Registration Date, there is NO TRADEMARK. The field that has status as to whether it is Live, is actually about the application, and not an indication that there is a live trademark. Took me quite a while to figure that out :-/

Also, since you are printing on garments, you only need to worry about TMs that are in effect for the clothing category.

Uhm, and trademarks are actually intended to protect a brand's identity in a given market segment. I could go out tomorrow and start Nike Lawn Care, and TM it for that kind of business. TMs are not intended to protect a product, just to avoid brand confusion in the marketplace.

Copyrights protect content. Quotes from movies, books, TV etc are protected by copyright.

Your original art on a T-shirt is protected by copyright. Text in a standard font is NOT art. So if you come up with some brilliant saying, better include it in a novel, or some such, if you want to protect it.
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Old 1 Hour Ago Sep 7, 2019 10:32:59 AM -   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Designing a shirt

I do design work for a number of boutiques. I almost never see copyright or even similarity issues since I don't copy artwork, and we discuss designs and wording in groups of 5-10 designs and by the time it goes through the design process ... if there is a similarity, it's only minimal and probably just a wording similarity. Copying artwork usually takes longer than just doing original work, sadly.

I always tell the people I do design work about the t-shirt hell story of the design they did that went something like "forget this, i'm going to live with osbornes" and MTV picking up the wording and making their own design. Lawsuit ensues and mtv settles. Since most boutiques use shirt designs like "flossin!" or something equally generic ... you'll be fine unless it's blatantly "just do it!" with a check mark.
 






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