Preventing Copycats: Weaving Through the Legals

Sharon Givoni Consulting Arts and design

Imagine you come up with a great new pattern for curtain fabric that strikes a chord with consumers, a window shutter design or a special weave that flies off the shelves. What if you find out someone is copying you? Have you protected your IP? Can you stop them? How? This article considers how you can protect textile designs and products. Would it be under copyright law or designs law? The answer you will see is not always entirely straightforward and can depend on whether the textile product could be considered a “work of artistic craftsmanship” (under copyright law) or an industrial design (which may mean you would need to have secured a design registration for it). This may factor into the choices you make early on when seeking out the best way to protect your products and designs from copycats particularly textiles and other products with a creative streak.

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This article has kindly been reproduced with the permission of Boston Publishing. It appeared in Window Furnishings Australia magazine, a business-to-business magazine specifically serving the interior window furnishings market in Australia.