Intellectual Property Infringment & Thieft

We pride our selves on coming up with new approaches, styles, &
techniques in this wondrous field of Adornment & Art. Maybe it
starts from a 3am sketch; or an unexpected event. You develop the
idea(s), the extensive hours, costs & soon it becomes a part of your
Image & Design DNA; that others associate with your work(s). You
register it with CIPO/USPTO to keep unprofessional-professionals
from claiming your works as their own.

So I put it to our trade & community,… when you become aware
that after several years of establishing yourself with your designs
& works, from fashion to trades shows; that you stumble upon a
member in our community that has stolen & used your Intellectual
Property for their own financial & trade benefit,…what is your
next step?

LEGAL…yes of course. But in question is the influence of the
individual / in trade standing.

Although we’re all are inspired by others; but when it is a direct
copy of your works you feel obligated & compelled to to Protect your
Name, your Works, & Integrity.

I’d like to make everyone aware of this individual, [name]… but
I’ll wait for some feedback from you ; as well from my Lawyers.

SO if you’ve been the ripped off of your work, ideas, &/or infringed
upon your Intellectual Property, let me know how you’ve handled it.

F.J. Molnar

First, if you have established -the work in question - as your
intellectual property through the appropriate channels and with the
appropriate registering agencies then it is in fact yours.Otherwise,
to say someone saw your work at a trade show and has stolen your
idea and is marketing it as their own requires you thoroughly
document the stolen work and the percentage of income you derive from
it, their version of what you are claiming as your own, and in some
states that you have filed paperwork attesting to your holding the
design copyright, and non-competitive disclosure forms to the trade
shows at which your work was displayed for other artists and trade
participants to peruse. Additionally, did the show at which the
alleged thief stole your work have any posted or printed notice on
registration or attendance documents regarding photography or other
copyright infringements that are /were punishable and prohibited to
show attendees- if they did, there is no question of the legalities
of the thief’s actions, if you are willing to file in small claims
court, and pay legal fees, if you don’t have representation on
retainer.If you can demonstrate that your losses were above 2500-5000
dollars, then you have to file in civil court, and then can call in
the representation of the shows producers as well as your own lawyer
to prove that that is where your copyrighted work was seen and stolen
for financial gain by the other party.

In most cases, the person allegedly stealing your work will not admit
to it, unless it is blatant and outright duplication of every element
of design- style, materials used, colours, method of fabrication,
etc.And you have the added burden of proof to obtain photographs or
otherwise document the wares for sale to the general public, or a
manufacturing concern for reproduction and that your work has netted
the person x number of dollars by fraud. You also have to be certain
in claiming anything that your work is beyond reproach; you have
filed and payed necessary taxes on income gained from jewelry as your
livelihood, in addition to other areas of compliance as a home or
small business, and have diligently sought to protect your designs
and copyright by registering all of your designs/work with the
appropriate agencies.

If you are a member of certain professional organizations, guilds,
etc. there is generally help there with legal issues. I don’t know
your specific affiliations but urge you to check your memberships
and the benefits they offer that may help without further
out-of-pocket expenditures.

As far as outing the person responsible for the alleged act ( I use
alleged in that i believe that some art occurs in spontaneous
generation- that is, two people can create similar pieces based on
many factors and trends at a given time ; marketing trends, newly
introduced and/or popularized materials,and other elements of style
observed in the fashion and retail as well as jewelry industries at
a given time…NOT exact duplications though! ) first, do you have
personal liability insurance- if so,feel free to speak your mind as
you are covered. If not, then you are giving the thief ammunition
for liable against you and you probably don’t want to go there.
Another approach would be to ask if anyone else has recently filed
lawsuits against individuals for this type of infringement to contact
you off orchid, with the intent of bringing a class suit against the
person if you suspect your work is not the only work stolen ( better
still is to contact the artist you feel was the object of additional
theft directly).If you can with a clear conscience demonstrate that
the person makes his/her living at stealing others work there is a
completely separate set of jurisprudence that is in keeping with
that fact, but it must be -fact…not accusation without

I am willing to help you in any way i can. Feel free to contact me
off Orchid and i can speak more freely about what i would recommend
you do, if not to act as a sort of checklist against things you have
already begun. I also have a number of forms and papers ready to
file with governmental agencies should you need them. I will be happy
to provide you with them, [and to anyone else for that mater, that
needs non-competition, and non-disclosure forms, and other business
related materials ( provided you pay the postage ! )]. I feel
competent to offer you sound advice in this matter. I personally
detest work used for profit that has been stolen from other’s work
that is clearly not of their own conceptualization.

I almost get the feeling that you are alluding to someone in the
trade that has been making a name for themselves on your back…if
that is the case other Orchideans would certainly recognize that the
person’s work is not original…and in that sense I would perhaps
copy a photo of your work from your site and past it next to theirs
and then ask this forum’s opinion… It is fairly common for people to
assert that their work has been compromised, when it in fact, was
not properly, legally registered ( due diligence in protecting your
intellectual properties), and has very common design elements or
fabrication techniques that are impossible to call one’s own. In any
case, If you need opinions or advise or counsel, i am clearly, full
of all of that and willing to help in any way i can.


All these months Ive only been reading this Email group. I apologize
for being unfamiliar with the protocols for replying to posts and for
not taking much time to find out. If replying like this is
particularly out of line feel free to disregard my opinion entirely.

Im glad someone finally showed me a detailed outline of what all is
involved in staking a claim on intellectual property. Im happy to
find out that it seems like a complicated and involved process to
take action on a person using ones designs and ideas for whatever
reasons. Ive been a working artist in a few mediums including
painting, lapidary art, and literature for over 20 years. The issue
of protecting intellectual property has spent a lot of time on my
mind. To try and sum my opinion up: For now Ive decided that if an
artist/musician/craftsperson decides to publicly display and or
(especially) sell their work, I feel that in almost all cases it
should become public or private property owned or given to parties
other than the artist in question. In my opinion, when an artist
shows or displays original works, it is done so for the personal
interest and general benefit of the artist, hoping to establish
their works, or craft, skills, abilities, artistry, vision, within
the private or general public. Doing so successfully, whatever that
means to the artist, solidifies their efforts and generates support
for their work making them outstandingly credible and considerable in
the community of artistic appreciators of their chosing. In my
opinion no one design will establish an artist. Usually. Once you
collect cash or fame for a piece of work, in other words, trade your
work for something, how is it right to say you should still own it
too? If it means that much to an artist that they really cant afford
to part with it, hoard it, covet it, keep it for the creators eyes or
ears only. THEN, if someone turns up with a copy of it, pursue the
thief. Otherwise, move on. If an artist hasnt got creativity to burn,
they probably shouldnt expect to win fame or fortune over their
abilities. Keep the day job. Keep the art work pure and use it to
enhance the world without concern for what happens to it once its
spread around.

Really, in a way, I like the idea that others might profit from my
ideas. Everyone has to get by… As long as I have enough to keep on
going, whatever.

Our ability to create art out of our minds isnt something we can
exactly call each of our own’s doing anyways. We were born with some
things we can hardly take credit for having. We take from the gift or
the naturally of life and the ability to sense, think and create.
Life gives to us freely if we chose to take it. Probably we should be
more free with giving what we create back to life freely too.

August Voss