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Clothing Copyright Infringement Lawyers

Clothing Copyright Infringement

What can you do when someone makes a “knock-off” of your fashion designs? When a company creates clothing with your copyrighted artwork, what are your legal rights?

If your rights have been violated, the attorneys at Sanders Law Group can help. Our clothing copyright lawyers can help you understand your rights and legal options. Our goal is to ensure your hard work is protected and that you collect the maximum compensation allowed when someone infringes on your copyright.

How Copyright Law Works With Clothing

Legal protection for clothing and clothing design can be less clear than other areas of copyright law like photography or videography. Opinions vary as to whether fashion designs are even eligible for copyright protection.

Why? Because fashion design can encompass many different things. Consider the factors that go into creating clothing – you might make dozens of sketches, create a “signature” feature of all your items, or a specific graphic design element.

The truth is that some parts of your design might have copyright protection while others don’t.

To understand what is protected, let’s first look at what is not covered by copyright law.

Copyright Does Not Protect the Colors in Your Clothing Designs

US Copyright law does not protect colors. Even if your color scheme is deemed unique or you use a signature color, copyright is not going to help you stop others from using it.

There may be trademark opportunities that offer some legal protection but not copyright law.

Copyright Does Not Protect The Cut and Assembly Of Clothing

How you cut and assemble your designs is also not protected by copyright law. In a recent US Supreme Court case involving Star Athletica and Varsity Brands, the court stated that copyright does not “prohibit any person from manufacturing clothing of identical shape, cut, and dimensions.”

As with color, there may be other avenues that can provide some legal protection for these elements of your creation. For example, you might be able to seek a design patent that can prevent others from creating fashions similar to yours.

Copyright Law Protects Your Sketches

When you create original drawings or sketches of your fashion designs, the drawings automatically receive copyright protection.

No one may copy, display, distribute or use the sketches without your permission or getting a license. Copyright protects the drawings themselves. It does not prevent someone from creating clothing that resembles what appears in the illustrations.

Copyright Law Protects Graphic Designs on Clothing

Copyright law protects original graphics on clothing and fabric the same way it protects original artwork everywhere else. Whether it is on paper or material does not matter. Your original graphic design work is protected.

This protection can include the positioning, combination, and arrangement of shapes, colors, and other design elements.

Copyright Protection Can Extend to Fabric Design

Copyright protection can extend to fabrics when designs in or on textiles show a certain amount of original creative expression.

We Want You To Get Compensated For Your Hard Work

Designing clothing is not easy. Getting your products out into the market and earning a living from your hard work can be even more difficult than the creative process. Finding a measure of commercial success as a fashion designer is something to be applauded.

But with that success might come complications. People may begin to knock off your products, use your designs, and copy unique graphics found on your creations. Not all of these are protected by copyright law, but some elements are. When someone violates your copyright, we want you to receive the compensation you deserve.

  • What happens if someone starts reproducing your unique graphics and using them to sell various consumer products?
  • What if you start seeing graphics eerily similar to yours on clothing made by other designers?
  • What if a fabric you created specifically for your clothing is being used to make other items?

You have legal rights to receive payment for your work.
If someone violates your copyright, you might be entitled to actual or statutory damages. Sanders Law Group can help you get the maximum compensation allowed by law.

Remember, copyright protection means that you control what happens to your work. If you want to license your graphics or other protected aspects of your designs, we can create licensing agreements that allow you to set the terms of their use. If someone violates their licensing agreement, we can ensure you collect the compensation you are entitled to.

Statutory Damages v. Actual Damages

Under US Copyright Law, you can collect either actual damages or statutory damages when someone violates your copyright.

Actual damages are based on the actual losses you suffered because of the copyright infringement. While there are a number of factors to be considered, at is most basic level you are entitled to an award equal to the profits the violating party received or an amount that reflects lost market value.

Statutory damages are available to you if you registered your work before the date that the infringer started infringing on your work. Unlike actual damages, the amount of your loss or others’ profit does not matter.

If You Find an Infringing Use of Your Work

(a) immediately gather evidence of the infringement (i.e., order the infringing garments from the infringer’s website or purchase garments at retail store).

(b) retain documents re: sales records and distribution outlets of copyright holder’s garments, including proof of first sale / publication.

(c) determine whether other similar designs went to market before the copyright holder’s garments were sold.

Sanders Law Group Helps Clients With Many Copyright-Related Needs

Our law firm has extensive experience helping fashion designers, photographers, videographers, and others with various legal needs related to copyright and licensing. Sanders Law Group can provide the following services:

  • Negotiate copyright infringement settlements
  • Send demand letters
  • Send cease and desist letters
  • Address take town-requests
  • File copyright lawsuits and breach of contract lawsuits
  • Negotiate, draft, formalize license agreements
  • Formulate and negotiate licensing fees
  • Secure appropriate damages for copyright violations
  • Secure damages for breaches of licensing agreements
  • Protect your rights

Call Our Clothing Copyright Lawyers Today

Call Sanders Law Group today at 888-348-3090 to schedule your free consultation. Once you tell us the facts of your situation, we can discuss your legal rights and legal options for securing the compensation you deserve.

Don’t forget how much work you put into getting your clothing designs made and sold. Don’t let a big corporation or any other entity steal your work or use it without your permission. Call our copyright infringement lawyers now, and let us evaluate your case and see if we can help you collect the compensation you deserve.

Call Sanders Law Group, US Copyright Attorneys, at 888-348-3090 today.

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