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Thomas Swartz
Thomas Swartz, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 3154
Experience:  Twenty one years experience as a lawyer in New York and New Jersey. Former Appellate Law Clerk.
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How to check if an item I would like to copy and manufacture

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how to check if an item I would like to copy and manufacture is copyrighted or not


Physical items of manufacture are not copyrighted. Copyright applies to works of authorship such as books, plays, music, artworks, films, photographs, etc. So you really don't want to look at copyright.

Instead, what you should be concerned about is whether or not the physical item has a patent on it. Patents basically protects the utility of an invention or its design. To known whether or not an item is patented, the item would have patent notification on it or its packaging, and this would include its patent number. If it is patent pending, the item would just have the words, patent pending and this means an application for a patent has been filed but not yet granted.

In addition, you can do a patent search on the U.S. Patent Office's website - Search for Patents. Also you will want to read this summary to do the search properly - How to Find Out If Something Has Been Patented.

You also want to be careful not to use any of the names or logos associated with the item you are interested in as these may be trademarked, another area of intellectual property law.


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