What is the law on fashion design?

I have drawn designs for clothing for a while now, I do not make them though. If I upload these as fashion art do I have any come back if somebody was to steal my designs? I cannot afford a patent, I know alot of designers patent their designs but how is this possible other than me signing my artwork? I know my designs are good, a number of people in the know have commented and when I was at school I had two teachers steal my work from me and win a competition with it.


@ Who- Yes it does, it doesnt make it a pattern but it certainly is a design, all designs go down on paper first. If you think you are right and i am wrong please elaborate more :)

3 Answers

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Original answer for the question I saw before I clicked on this to read more:

    They made Spandex stretch pants for size 20, so obviously no laws against fashion. lol

    Real answer, now that I read your details:

    You have copyright on your side. Whenever we post anything creative online, it automatically belongs to us. That's the law, the reality is different. What is someone from Sumatra steals your designs? Can you really afford the lawyer, time, and effort to fight them? Often, even if you do, all that get from the judge is "Don't do that," without any punishment or way of making them stop.

    And then there is the "artistic license" aspect of creativity. Say your design had white sleeves, and I made something just like it, but in black. I'm taking your idea and expanding on it? Is that legal? Iffy. If it's different enough from your design, it is legal. If it's not? Well, once again, years of lawyer fees, court cost, time and energy to let someone else decode.

    I'm a writer. I can see the legal aspects of "poetic licenses" all the time in books and movies. For instance, you know "West Side Story" is just a take off of "Romeo and Juliet." That would have been legal, even if Shakespeare's family still owned his copyrights. It's different enough. And Star Wars?" Just one of many generalizations of the monomyth. People have every right to take off from your designs and go with it, as long as it is that - taking off from it. It's only gray area, when it's how far removed from the original was it? Judging from the number of court cases over the years - that's a lot of gray, compared to the black and white.

    Idea? Why not see if you can sell your designs to designers? I don't know the fashion industry (even though I am a size 20, who wouldn't be caught dead in Spandex lol), but you can learn enough to see what you can do with your creations.

  • 8 years ago

    "In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work."

    17 U.S.C. § 102(b)

    A pattern is a procedure, process or method of operation, for making something. The specific instructions for making the item might, might, qualify for copyright registration but that copyright only would cover the written instructions, not the patterns or what was made from the patterns.

  • Who
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    drawing something on a piece of paper does not make it a design

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.