Can You Patent Clothing?

clothing

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.