Are and titles used on Etsy intellectual property....ie. Custom Dog Charm Bracelet or Personalized Charm Bracelet?

Asked about 1 year ago - Genoa, IL

I have been told by a shop owner on Etsy that her bracelets are copywrighted and the tags and titles I am using to describe some of the jewelry I sell on Etsy is her intellectual property and I had to remove them. After researching I am still confused. I would like to know for certain if she is correct or just bullying me because I may be competition. Some examples of the tags are....Dog Charm Bracelet, Dog Lover Jewelry, Dog Photo Jewelry. An example of the title is...."Dog Jewelry, Dog Charm Bracelet, Personalized Memorial Dog Bracelet, Photo Dog Jewelry, Memory Dog Bracelet, Dog Photo Jewelry".

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Judy A. Goldstein

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It is not likely that the materials are copyright protected based upon the little information you have provided, but there may be much more to the facts than posted here. You are best served by consulting in person with a copyright or IP attorney where you can discuss your concerns in more detail.

  2. Bruce E. Burdick

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You need to consult with an Intellectual Property law attorney. In the examples you posit, the shop owner is full of baloney as those are just descriptive terms neither she nor you can claim as exclusively yours.

    Her bracelets are not likely "copywrighted" [ protected by 17 USC 106 of the Copyright Act] since they are functional items. However, some aspects might be non-functional artistic ornamentation and be protected to a very limited extent by copyright law. The names are not protected by copyright, but rather only, if at all, by trademark law. See prior paragraph for that.

    You need an Illinois licensed attorney to assist you on this since you are based in Genoa, IL. [If you are actually in Genoa, IT and just using Genoa, IL to get on Avvo, then you need a trademark lawyer with international experience. I am one that fits both categories since I am in IL and have extensive experience international licensing in Italy. There are many other good attorneys here on Avvo with licensing experience.]

    I am not your lawyer and you are not my client. Free advice here is without recourse and any reliance thereupon is... more
  3. Brian Kenneth Dinicola

    Contributor Level 13

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    Lawyer agrees

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    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . If the tags or titles are descriptive, then it is not likely that these are or will be entitled to trademark protection. The designs themselves, however, if you are imitating them might be entitled to trade dress or copyright protection. In the latter case, all that is required is creation of an article which embodies an identifiable level of originality and expression.

    A ring with no features would not be entitled to protection, but an original, sculptured design on a ring would be, for example.

  4. Warren Vincent Norred

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

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    Answered . It is difficult to obtain a registered mark on such bland descriptive names. I'd say she has a high bar to make such claims. And it's not copyright that protects item names, so if that is what she said, she's either lying or just wrong about what she has. Based on what you've said here, I'd tell her to pound sand, BUT, all I know is your side, told in this truncated form, and I'm making some assumptions.

    I'm not your attorney; my answer includes assumptions. If you want me to be your attorney, I'm easy to find.

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