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    Can you patent/trademark a tshirt design? Like a basic star design?

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    I am not an expert but I would say no to a basic design, especially if it is commonly used, it must be something different from anything on the market. Even copyright would not be applicable to any design that someone else has used.
    Are you talking as a designer, or someone who is being threatened by someone who tells you their design is protected? Without more info we may not be able to help you very much.

    Peter – FS Administrator
    • Total posts: 1,889

    Yes… my understanding is that you would need something unique/original to protect, rather than a generic design.

    The legendary [USER=20176]@JacquiPryor[/USER] is one of our resident IP/trademark gurus around the place so she may have more concrete answers, but I as mentioned a bit more background could be very helpful to guide some advice.

    Cheers, Peter

    • Total posts: 2,344
    Ems1981, post: 262585, member: 57194 wrote:
    Can you patent/trademark a tshirt design? Like a basic star design?

    Thanks for the intro there Peter! Sorry I’m a little late to the post… both Rowan and Peter are spot on in their comments – and yes, more information is needed to truly answer (you’re welcome to send me a private message with the specifics so I can answer more concretely for you).

    Certainly patents won’t be a factor here… we’re looking at either copyright and/or trademark law I would say based on your post..

    Copyright can protect artistic works (which could include a picture/design you want to print on a t-shirt). A trademark is a ‘sign’ you’re using or planning to use that distinguishes your product (such as t-shirts) from other people’s t-shirts. Some things do fall under both copyright and trademark… e.g. a ‘logo’ is a trademark, but its artistic components may also have some copyright coverage (automatically).

    From the trademark side – a ‘basic star’ could be difficult. As noted, a trademark is something that distinguishes your product from others – if the mark (be it an image like a star or even a word mark) is too likely to be needed by others in genuine business it’s going to be trickier to register as exclusively yours. You’d also want to check out whether another person has registered that same image/word/logo (whatever it may be) or something confusingly similar to ensure you’re safe to use your design…

    Like I said, you’re welcome to send me a message with more information and I’m happy to review/answer.. or, we do offer a free trademark search via our website (link in signature) if that’s of help.

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