How to copyright a clothing idea

Written by sarah metzker erdemir
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How to copyright a clothing idea
(Image courtesy of

Copyright is legal protection for creators of original intellectual property and works of art. If a work has a copyright, it cannot be reproduced or duplicated without the creator's permission. While ownership and copyright are implied upon the creation of any artwork or intellectual property, registering your copyright is necessary if you want a legal record of ownership. Clothing is considered by law to be a "useful article," which means you cannot copyright the clothes themselves, or even the design of the clothes. However, it is possible to register a copyright for certain artistic design elements of clothing (such as logos or other decorations) by following these steps.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Internet connection
  • Valid bank account or credit card
  • Digitally recorded images or a hard copy of your original decoration or logo

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  1. 1

    Go to the U.S. Copyright Office website and click Electronic Copyright Office (or eCO).

  2. 2

    Follow the prompts to register with eCO and create a username and password. You will need to provide personal and contact information in order to register.

  3. 3

    Click "Register a New Claim" and provide the requested information. You will need to give descriptive information about the work, information about yourself as the author, and (if desired) information about anyone you want to act as an agent to release the rights to your work.

  4. 4

    Choose if you want to pay the £22 filing fee by direct debit or by credit card, and enter the information about your payment method.

  5. 5

    Attach a digital copy of your work. If you want to send hard copies, follow the instructions for filling out and printing a shipping slip for mail or courier delivery.

  6. 6

    Repeat steps 1-5 and pay the £22 fee for any additional work you want to register a copyright for.

Tips and warnings

  • This information and the fees are valid as of April 2009.

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