Is it best to copyright or patent a jewelry design.

I have a collection of 63 sayings engraved on a cuff.
Is it best to copyright or patent it. Can you patent a
jewelry design?

Asked on April 14, 2017 under Business Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Copyright is much easier, faster, and less expensive to obtain than a design patent, but offers more limited protection: copyright is highly specific to that *exact* original image, design, or text, and so can be fairly easily circumvented, whereas a design patent offers broader protection. However, whereas you can copyright a design yourself for minimal expense, applying for a design patent really requires the assistance of a trademark attorney and several thousand dollars. Also, while copyright can protect words and sayings, a design patent only protects actual *designs*--not words, etc.
If you have common design features across your line, it may be worth a design patent to protect those common elements. But if not, or if you are primarily interested in protecting the 63 sayings, then copyrighting them is probably the better bet.
Here is  link to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website, where you can find more information about design patents:

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