Should I create a vendor contract to sell my jewelry while seeking a design patent?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Should I create a vendor contract to sell my jewelry while seeking a design patent?

I’m starting a new business as a sole proprietor. I’ve been approached by a vendor about selling my handmade jewelry in their boutique. I’m seeking a design patent on my earrings. What I don’t want is for them to copy my

jewelry and be able to sell it.

Asked on September 15, 2017 under Business Law, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You can protect your designs from this vendor by having them execute an agreement which states that they acknowledge your ownership of the designs and that they have no right to copy them. Do this before you share the designs with them. You can draw up an agreement like this yourself, but it would be better if you  have an attorney do it for you. Such an agreement is legally binding and enforceable, but will only apply to those who sign it (e.g. the agreement can bind this vendor and its owner(s) if they sign it, but each employee there would also have to execute or sign an agreement to be bound; and it would not bind others who see or come in contact with your designs and wish to copy them).

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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