What to do if as a hobby I make/sell hand made jewelry and I have been wrongly accused of copying someone else’s design?

UPDATED: Sep 8, 2014

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What to do if as a hobby I make/sell hand made jewelry and I have been wrongly accused of copying someone else’s design?

Today I received an email on the site I sell on informing me that my necklace listing has been deactivated because another seller claimed that she is the copyright owner of the designs and materials used. The necklace I was accused of copying is very simple and was in no way a copy of the accusing person’s item. The only similarity our necklaces share is that they are both metal circle blanks with 2 cut out hearts. These blanks are sold by a supplier and available for anyone to use and purchase, so she has no copyright to that. Hers is simply stamped with two names while mine reads “Mothers love is endless”. Does she have a case here?

Asked on September 8, 2014 under Business Law, Ohio


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

From what you have written it does not sound as if she has any right to claim a design infringement since the basic piece is available for sale to anyone who creates jewelry.  And the inscriptions are obviously different. The email is not a "cease and desist" by an attorney, correct?  I think that you should consult with some one in the area just so you feel comfortable should the matter proceed in any way but for now you seem fine.  Good luck.

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