If I buy a sewing pattern from a store, make an item from that pattern and then sell the item I made, is that a copyright infringement?

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If I buy a sewing pattern from a store, make an item from that pattern and then sell the item I made, is that a copyright infringement?

Asked on February 27, 2013 under Business Law, Alabama

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You are wise to realize that a pattern is a design that is a work of visual art that is protected under the copyright law.  But if the resulting article is protected under copyright depends on what is being made. The pattern itself is not copyrighted because it is a "useful article." It is the design. For example, if the patter is of something that is copyrighted or patented - a special dress design, a costume of Scooby Doo - the you can not produce it and sell it.  That would be infringement. If, however, the sewing pattern is a one that results in the creation of a thing that is NOT copyrightable or protectable under a valid design pattern or under trade dress law then that warning the it is not infringement. You own the pattern. I hope that this helped. Good luck.


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