A common question that we receive is how may I protect my jewelry designs from being copied and reproduced by others. American Gemstone Group guaranties that any products that we produce for our jewelry production clients will never be reproduced by us except at the direction of the client. Once your products are on market though, other brands will start to see your ideas, and if something catches on, chances are somebody somewhere will copy you.
When it comes to protecting designs there are really only two avenues; applying for a design patent through the US Patent and Trademark Office (www.uspto.com), and/or trademarking your name and logo.
A design patent has a few drawbacks:
Firstly, it must be unique by a very specific definition. Many simple and classic designs do not fit this definition.
Further designs registered in this way are only protected for 3 years, and the process will run into the thousands of dollars if a lawyer is involved. (Without a lawyer the registration costs are in the hundreds, however the paperwork and formatting is intimidating to say the least).
A trademark offers protection of your logo, and is very enforceable. This also can be renewed indefinitely. The drawback is unless the design itself incorporates your logo, it is not protected. If your trademark is simply put onto the piece of jewelry somewhere, it is easy enough for another company to copy your concept and apply their own trademark.