Humanities › History & Culture Can You Patent Clothing? Share Flipboard Email Print U.S. Customs and Border Protection / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain History & Culture Inventions Patents & Trademarks Famous Inventions Famous Inventors Invention Timelines Computers & The Internet American History African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Genealogy Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century Women's History View More By Mary Bellis Inventions Expert Mary Bellis covered inventions and inventors for ThoughtCo for 18 years. She is known for her independent films and documentaries, including one about Alexander Graham Bell. our editorial process Mary Bellis Updated October 02, 2019 Denise T. wrote me asking the following, "Can the design of a piece of clothing be patented?" Denise the most likely answer is no - rarely are articles of clothing patented. However, there are exceptions, Teva Sandals were issued a utility patent that relates to how this sandal "functions to fit" rather than "how it looks". A design patent may be granted to anyone who invents a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of clothing. The U.S. Marines have received design patents for their camouflage patterns and combat uniforms. All clothing designs are immediately protected by a copyright, however, any small change and it is a new design. That's why famous designers see knock-offs of their clothing almost immediately after a runway show. To help you decide what would be right for you, I'd suggest reading, "USPTO Patents" and "Understanding Intellectual Property", and if you are serious visit an intellectual property lawyer.