If I own a company that makes crocheted gift items and saw an item made from plastic that I want to make/sell in crocheted form, does this violate copyright/licensing laws?

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If I own a company that makes crocheted gift items and saw an item made from plastic that I want to make/sell in crocheted form, does this violate copyright/licensing laws?

Can I copyright the pattern that I designed?

Asked on May 14, 2014 under Business Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

It may very well violate copyright or trademark law: if someone has copyright in a design, or has trademarked it, then it cannot be reproduced by others, even in a different form, without the rights holder's permission. To use a recent example: take the new Godzilla movie. The movie studio does not itself make prints or plastic toys; but if someone else copied their Godzilla design to make a print, poster, or toy without their permission, that would be a violation and the studio could sue them. The rights holder has all the rights to do that image or design, in whatever format.


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