Legal Question in Intellectual Property in North Carolina

I recently saw a necklace in a catalog that I liked, but the price was rediculously high. I can, with a minimum of effort, duplicate the necklace using materials found in any craft store. My question is this: if I make these necklaces, not for personal use, but to sell on an online site such as Etsy or eBay, is there a potential for copyright infringment in the eyes of the original manufacturer. The necklaces will be handmade and will be listed as such and will feature one aspect that was not included in the original piece I saw in the catalog, that being an extra embellishment added.

Asked on 6/15/10, 11:59 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Kevin B. Murphy Franchise Foundations, APC

An intellectual property attorney will say you need to determine what, if any, protection the necklace in the catalog has. It would probably be a design patent, if anything. Most products are made and marketed under a brand name, and that brand name is protected as a trademark. So if you call a computer you design an Apple, Apple would come after you for trademark infringement, not copyright infringement. Consult with an attorney in your area for specific advice.

Kevin B. Murphy, B.S., M.B.A., J.D. - Mr. Franchise

Franchise Attorney

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Answered on 6/15/10, 4:16 pm

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