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Category: Intellectual Property Law
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If I purchase a PATTERN to make a handbag am I able to sell

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If I purchase a PATTERN to make a handbag am I able to sell the bag I have made. I have recently bought some patterns and on the pattern they state either for personal use only and product cannot be sold. My understanding of copyright is that the pattern I have purchased is protected by copyright and cannot be copied and sold. That you cannot copyright a bag ie the physical product. I am trying to determine if the product that I make from a pattern is then part of the pattern copyright. Who has the right of the physical product made from a pattern. Do I have intellectual property right of the product as I have through my creative efforts made the bag using my design skills in selecting fabrics and such. Thank You Maree

Hi Maree,

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I would be happy to assist you with this.

Your analysis of copyright law is absolutely right. The pattern itself would be subject co copyright, meaning that you couldn't make copies of the pattern, on-sell it or use it for more than just personal use. However, this does not extend to ownership of any product you make from using the pattern. Any products you make from using the pattern will be your own and you can sell them without being in breach of copyright or having to pay any royalties to the owners of the copyright in the pattern.

Please let me know if you need any more information.

AustralianLawyer and 2 other Intellectual Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

In relation to the pattern; what constitutes a new pattern? How much of the original pattern has to be changed for it to become a new pattern. Is there a guideline?


Thanks Maree

Under the Copyright Act, a copyright owner does have an exclusive right to adapt the work. This means that it will be a breach of copyright to adapt the work without the owner's permission. Whether adaption has occurred is determined on a case-by-case basis - there are no particular guidelines for this. But the courts will look at whether any of the original pattern has been used in the new pattern, or whether you have started from scratch. You just want to make sure your new pattern has no obvious resemblance to the original pattern.