Designer and Portland native, Shawna x wrote about her ongoing experience dealing with a design stealing mega manufacturer. Shawna x, who brought us the PDX Carpet Wallpaper, is fighting a watch manufacture on a design she created in 2011. Hearing about these battles, which seem to come up more and more, make me sick to my stomach. It even happened to Elizabeth Dye and her Portland designed wedding dresses and Betsy & Iya with their Fremont Bridge Cuff.
After a brief and warranted freakout, she is now is using this ordeal to help others and find support. In her post she gives 10 straight up helpful tips if this ever happens to you. Her most practical and often overlooked tip:
4- Get a copyright registration. I finally got mine for this particular design and it was $35 at the copyright office. I paid online. Honestly if you post work online that you think may be a big hit, do this right away. I was told you may be able to waive attorney fees if anything comes up if you register within 3 months of publishing/creating the work. Also know that once you create your original work, the copyright is immediately attached to your work. However, getting it officially registered gives you more momentum and makes it easier to pursue charges/legal situations.
Thanks for your advice Shawna x, and we’re rooting for you!
Read more about design theft here: Whistleblowing Design Thieves by Maker’s Nation