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Is this legal?

opieopie subscriber Posts: 15
edited December 2006 in Protecting Your Ideas
A friend of mine creates jewelry and came up with a design that she didn`t protect.  While leafing through a beading magazine one day she saw the same exact design.  She doesn`t believe this person copied her; she just thinks it is simply two people tinkering around with beads and coming up with the same design.  She now wants to sell her pieces of jewelry, in the same design she saw in the magazine that she herself had already been making.  She didn`t see where the other person had her idea protected, but she is wondering if she can legally make and sell this design, since this design was in a magazine.  Thanks!
I just did a patent search for her, to see if this design was patented, and did not see where it was.  I know the photo in the magazine would be copyrighted, but I don`t believe this particular design is patented.opie2006-12-4 11:1:44


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    Innovator7Innovator7 subscriber Posts: 9
    This case relates to appearance, therefore design patent or copyright.  Did she have a proof of date of conception? How did the other person(s) get to know her design?She could prove her "due diligence" by documenting all invoices related to her jewelry creation, to prove some sort of date of conception.  Other than that, the risk of lawsuit is minimal, because of the small amount of money to be made from the design.  It`s the craft/work that makes money, I think.  Similarly, hairstyles are copied all the times, free of royalty.I`m not a patent attorney, just someone interested in IP and has IP.
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    opieopie subscriber Posts: 15
    To answer your question, no, she really has no proof of when she came up with this, and she really doesn`t think the other person copied her design, as very few people have even seen it.  Probably just a case of great minds thinking alike.  She just wants to make sure she can start selling this particular design without getting into trouble.  If there are any law experts who can answer this, I`d be grateful, and Innovator7, thanks for your input.
    p.s. wouldn`t that other person have to have a design patent for her design to be protected?  Copyright would not protect a jewelry design; just the photo, right?  Both of us did search patents for this type of design and saw nothing.  opie2006-12-5 5:13:26
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