Home – New Forums Logistics copyright and China factories …confused !!

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  • #983574
    Miss Cherry
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    Hi all,
    I have started an a little business on Facebook with Ecwid as my storefront. I have no idea what I am really doing but I am getting lots of sales and followers . I sell Corsets and accesories and I have also created a persona to go with the business called Miss Cherry La Rouge :)
    I have plodded along nicely , doing a few private parties and my online store, for the past 6 months. I order my corsets from a few different wholesalers in China but mostly sticking to one that has two websites one with a MOQ and one without, which is perfect for the one off orders and i dont have to hold stock at home.
    Now my big question is ….
    I have noticed that there is Corset whoelsaler in America and I assume they are their own designs that they sell and all these dozens of China factories are just selling copies and variations of these. The American site states copyright on their photos on the website but EVERYONE has the same photos of the same corsets all over the web! Ebay , Ecommerce stores, China wholesalers .I asked for permission to use the pics from my china wholesaler and got the go ahead in an email ( ive printed and kept)
    I have emailed both the American wholesaler and the china one asking if these designs are the property of either …they dont want to answer me :/
    Now for the dilema and exciting bit …. I have been invited to showcase my corsets on the catwalk in Atlantic City for a big event. They just stumbled across my Facebook page and invited me :)
    But I need to know for sure that these Corsets coming out of these China factories by the thousands are NOT infringing any copyrights or patents on designs :( and I have no idea how to go about that.
    This will potentailly launch my business internationally …I havent even got a website up yet because I dont know how to g about that either! How do I take advantage of this great opportunity ,do I need a business consultant ? or who ? Im just an itty bitty girly tahwas doing this as a hobby and its starting to BOOM! Pop over to my page if you want to check it out .http://www.facebook.com/WaistedLaceCorsets
    HELP :)

    #1143118
    Anonymous
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    Hi there Miss Cherry,

    What an exciting time for you! Although I can see why you’re feeling overwhelmed.

    Hopefully some of the folk around here who specialise in IP will be able to give you guidance.

    I have my fingers crossed that it all comes together perfectly and you’re soon taking that catwalk by storm.

    Good luck, and thanks for joining Flying Solo.
    Jayne

    #1143119
    JacquiPryor
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    Hi Miss Cherry,

    Okie Doke… first things first is to understand what type of intellectual property covers what…

    Copyright would apply to the photographs of the products, not the products themselves. Easiest way around any issues here is to take your own photos and then you will be the copyright owner of those photos and allowed to use them as you wish. You mention though you have the Chinese manufacturer’s permission to use the photos. Does their email also confirm they are in fact owner of the photos? Perhaps the USA wholesaler actually uses the same factories in China, and also use the Chinese manufacturer’s photos?

    The actual items themselves, if they were to be protected, would likely come under the area of ‘designs’… in some countries, such as USA this would be known as a design patent. A registered design essentially protects the look/appearance of a product. Given the wide range of corsets available I would doubt the USA company has taken out design protection over the actual garments. You can try your own searches on designs in America at http://www.uspto.gov/ – or, contact a patent attorney who is familiar with their system.

    I would suspect the reason no one is answering your question about who owns the designs is that no-one actually does, so, they don’t want to admit that. They’d most likely rather you assume someone owns them so as to limit competition.

    Designs are protected country-by-country – so, if you are going to exhibit in America then it’s initially America you will need to double-check just to be sure there’s no infringement. Use the link above, or engage the services of an attorney familiar with the US design patent system to confirm.

    It is highly unlikely that patents will come into the picture. A patent is the right granted to a new & inventive device, substance, method or process… I very much doubt that a garment such as a corset (even if the design/look is new) would be protected as a patent… I believe designs or design patents is the area to be considered. And, as noted copyright applies to the photo and not the item itself.

    Hope the above helps & please note it’s provided for information purposes and is not given as legal advice.

    #1143120
    Johny
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    I asked for permission to use the pics from my china wholesaler and got the go ahead in an email ( ive printed and kept)

    That really means pretty much nothing. They won’t care if you use their photos and they won’t care if you are using someone else’s photos. Its common practice for them to use whatever is available regardless. In China it is unlikely anyone will run into problems for this and it has no effect on them if you do.

    I tend to agree with Jacqui’s comments and suspect that there is no ownership of the designs. But I say that based on knowing how a lot of stuff goes on in this business rather than on any legal basis.

    This is the comment that caught my eye as much as anything else:-

    I have been invited to showcase my corsets on the catwalk in Atlantic City for a big event. They just stumbled across my Facebook page and invited me

    I have become very cynical over the years, and things like this jump out at me.

    Someone who is involved in fashion shows in the US in a place like Atlantic City, who would supposedly have some fashion knowledge and therefore involved with designers etc.has happened across a facebook page and offered an invite based on that??

    I know there is a lot of excitement and appears like I am bursting the bubble, but please take some time to stand back a bit and find out what exactly is involved, what is required from you and what you hope to achieve from this.

    I am not suggesting its not legitimate and I hope it is a great opportunity for you, but if it was me, I would be wanting to find out a lot more before I committed to anything.

    #1143121
    Rowan@quaotic
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    Without knowing the details it also looks a bit suss to me. I would expect that such an event would also expect you to be showcasing your own designs rather than mass produced ones that can be bought elsewhere.

    I hope that it is legit but be careful.

    #1143122
    Miss Cherry
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    Johny, post: 163796 wrote:
    That really means pretty much nothing. They won’t care if you use their photos and they won’t care if you are using someone else’s photos. Its common practice for them to use whatever is available regardless. In China it is unlikely anyone will run into problems for this and it has no effect on them if you do.

    I tend to agree with Jacqui’s comments and suspect that there is no ownership of the designs. But I say that based on knowing how a lot of stuff goes on in this business rather than on any legal basis.

    This is the comment that caught my eye as much as anything else:-

    I have become very cynical over the years, and things like this jump out at me.

    Someone who is involved in fashion shows in the US in a place like Atlantic City, who would supposedly have some fashion knowledge and therefore involved with designers etc.has happened across a facebook page and offered an invite based on that??

    I know there is a lot of excitement and appears like I am bursting the bubble, but please take some time to stand back a bit and find out what exactly is involved, what is required from you and what you hope to achieve from this.

    I am not suggesting its not legitimate and I hope it is a great opportunity for you, but if it was me, I would be wanting to find out a lot more before I committed to anything.
    They were scouting and looking for new designers and retailers to showcase at this event which runs very year and found my store when searching for another that had a similar name. They loved what I have and fancy the idea of promoting an “Australian” to be on their catwalk this year.
    I pay a small fee to attend and showcase my corsets and it covers models, photography, hair , makeup, racks, promoting and backdrop for the catwalk.
    the way i see it is it will get my name out there and if nothing comes of it then I have lost nothing and had a great holiday. ( was planning to go to America next year anyway)
    I am being as smart about this as I can and looking into any possible problems that may asrise. Getting info from here and friends and a lawyer.
    Thankyou for your reply :)

    #1143123
    Miss Cherry
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    Rowan @ GardenLarder, post: 163820 wrote:
    Without knowing the details it also looks a bit suss to me. I would expect that such an event would also expect you to be showcasing your own designs rather than mass produced ones that can be bought elsewhere.

    I hope that it is legit but be careful.

    I have made it very clear to the event producers that I am not a designer , that my corsets are imported from a wholesaler. Their reply was that they not only present new designers but retail boutiques as well which includes online stores. They liked my store and the style of corsets and costumes I have. I have made sure that this was very clear in the first conversation.

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