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Patterns, Quilting and Embroidery Index

Last Updated August 11, 2011

Pattern manufacturers and designers do not have the statutory right to control how many items are made from their patterns or what is done with these items. Imagine purchasing a book on how to build a shed in your back yard from your local hardware store. The book certainly has plans (patterns) and instructions and is copyrighted. Do you expect to have to get permission from the hardware store, the lumber yard, the paint store and the book publisher before you build the shed? Of course not. And then ask for permission to post a picture of this shed on Facebook? Of course not. It is YOUR shed.

Then, after building the shed, since you no longer require the services of this book, you sell it at a yard sale. Do you need permission to sell this book? Of course not. It is YOUR book. And the purchaser of this yard sale book? Does the purchaser need to ask the same permissions as well to build the same shed? Of course not. Sound silly? But this is what pattern designers expect everyone else to do. They are stuck on stupid. Or they think you are stupid.

Since thePatterns, Embroidery and Quilting pages generate so much interest, we compiled this index of subject matter.

  • Quilting
    • Copyright And The Local Quit Show , by Carol Roberts who claims to be a lawyer, but alas, this lawyer falls into the same trap as do the design sellers. It has many wrong assumptions about the world of quilting.
    • Copyrights And Quilts by one Maria Elkins. There are many things wrong with this article. She also threatened use if we did not remove her from the web site.
    • Quilt This, by Paul Rapp, Esq.. An interesting story with no false assertions about copyrights. Some attorneys do not mess it up
    • Know Your Rights (And Wrongs) , A Copyright Primer for Quilters by Janet Jo Smith, B.A., J.D. From the McCall's Quilting Magazine Sept/Oct 2010 Issue. This error-filled, self-serving tripe is being foisted upon the public by a company that has no registered copyrights for individual patterns? This article includes our deconstruction of the article pointing out the many, many lies and errors.
    • People Are Talking - From the Editors with our rebuttal, from the McCall's Quilting Magazine Nov/Dec 2010 Issue. The editors respond to the flack they received from the copyright garbage in the previous issue.
    • People Are Talking - From the Author with our rebuttal, from the McCall's Quilting Magazine Nov/Dec 2010 Issue. The author responds to the flack received from the copyright garbage in the previous issue.


  • Butterick has no federally registered copyrights on patterns.


Copyright Statement as defined in the US Copyright Act

Court cases

  • Clothing
    • Copyright protection not available for clothing, Knitwaves, Inc. v. Lollytogs Ltd., 71 F.3d 996 (2d Cir. 1995) and Folio Impressions, Inc. v. Byer Cal., 937 F.2d 759 (2d Cir. 1991)
    • Baker v Selden , 101 U.S. 99 ¶18, Supreme Court 1879, copyright on clothing pattern does not extend to end product or procedure used.
  • First Sale Doctrine
    • Bobbs-Merril vs Straus, 210 U.S. 339 (1908). Limited the rights of copyright holders to those allowed by statute only.
    • Scarves By Vera, Inc. v. American Handbags, Inc, 188 F. Supp. 255 - US: Dist. Court, SD New York 1960, American Handbags was using towels manufactured by Vera to make handbags for sale. On some of these handbags made with plaintiff's towels there could be seen, at the bottom, the name Vera coupled with the figure of a Scarab or Ladybug, all three of which were registered trademarks of Vera. The judge rejected Vera's copyright claims.
    • Precious Moments vs La Infantil, 1997, the federal court invoked the first sale doctrine in denying Precious Moments attempts to block the use of its licensed fabrics to make bedding for sale. The 1st Circuit Court said making a fabric item from fabric lacked any originality so it was not copyright infringement. Since then, Disney Enterprises, Major League Baseball, United Media (Peanuts fabric), Sanrio (Hello Kitty fabrics), and Debbie Mumm, have been sued by us when these companies tried to block the eBay sales of items hand-crafted from t MYTHSheir licensed fabrics. Every one of them settled with us rather than risk losing the issue in court.
  • Wording on label not enforceable
    • Clairol, Inc. v. Cody's Cosmetics, Inc ., 353 Mass. 385, 393 (1967). Clairol sought to enjoin Cody's Cosmetics from selling at retail to the general public Clairol's products designated "Professional Use Only." The Massachusetts court rejected this attempt except to require Cody's to use a disclaimer warning consumers that the bottles were originally part of a six-pack that was broken open and to include instructions on the use of the cosmetics.
    • Tripoli Co. v. Wella Corp., 425 F.2d 932, 941 (3d Cir. 1970) (enforcement of legend on products "marked 'for professional use only' not to be sold retail" would be "a serious restriction on freedom of trade and competition).
    • Matrix Essentials v. Cosmetic Gallery , 870 F. Supp. 1237, 1241 (D.N.J. 1994). Matrix sued Cosmetic Gallery to stop them from reselling their products. Matrix claimed only salons were allowed to sell their products. The court disagreed citing the first sale doctrine.
    • Polymer Tech. Corp. v. Mimran , 841 F. Supp. 523, 529-30 (S.D.N.Y. 1994) (no valid claim for unauthorized distribution despite plaintiff's "expression of intent so to restrict sales by labeling its products 'For Professional Use Only.'").
    • Matrix Essentials v. Quality King Distribs ., 522 F. Supp. 2d 470, 478-79 (E.D.N.Y. 2007) (finding that the trademark first sale doctrine barred enforcement of "professional use only" restriction).

    Derivative defined in detail.

    Maria Elkins author of Copyrights And Quilts listed above. There are many things wrong with this article. She also threatened us if we did not remove her from the web site.

    "End User Licensing Agreement" or ("EULA")


    Laura Marsh, author of the article listed above, Are Sewing Patterns Copyright Free, an error-filled, piece of crap article that is self-serving garbage.


    Jeff Neuburger, Esq, author of the article, Can I copyright my clothing designs?

    Nimmer on designs and dress paterns.

    Paragon Patterns Susan Wigley, Paragon Patterns articles. She writes self-serving artciles that distort copyright law and patterns.

    Patterns and how they are affected by copyright law. Our analysis of you can and cannot do with patterns with citations from court cases and the law.

    Pattern Companies our analysis of the big pattern companies and their lack of registered trademarks.

    Pattern Myths and why they are false. But people still spread the lies.

    Carolyn V. Peters, Esq., author of a Town Hall article about copyrights. Well written.

    Playground Bully Syndrome, or Why Corporate Assholes Act The Way They Do.

    Quilting and how it is affected by copyright law. Our analysis of you can and cannot do concerning quilts with citations from court cases and the law. Quilting Court Cases listed and outlined. There are not very many.

    Register of Copyrights 1995 letter explaining why patterns are not copyrightable.


    Town Hall article by Carolyn V. Peters titled Ask the Experts. Very well written.

    Useful item as defined by the US Copyright Office.


    • Vogue has no federally registered copyrights on patterns for clothing in the last 40 years.

    Susan Wigley of Paragon Patterns. She writes self-serving artciles that distort copyright law and patterns.

Articles | Cease and Desist Letters | Federal Court Cases | FAQs & Whines | Glossary | Hall Of Shame | Contributions

Corporate Lawyers
Cartoons | Code Of Ethics | Courtroom Remarks | Definition Of A Lie | Jokes | Lawyers | Lying | Who Have Lied

eBay - Land The Game


Trademark Definitions
Blurring   |   Confusion   |   Damages   |   Dilution   |   History   |   Initial Interest Confusion   |   Likelihood Of Confusion   |   Material Difference Standard
Parallel Imports   |   Post-sale Confusion   |   Puffery   |   Secondary Meaning   |   Subsequent Confusion   |   Trademark Abuse
Unauthorized Use   |   Unfair Competition   |   What is a Trademark?
Copyright Definitions
Angel Policies   |   Contributory Infringement   |   Copyrightability   |   Copyright Extortion   |   Copyright Misuse Doctrine
Derivative   |   The Digital Millennium Copyright Act   |   EULA   |   Fair Use   |   First Sale Doctrine   |   Product Description
Registration   |   Registration Denied   |   What is a Copyright?   |   What is not Copyrightable?
Other Issues
Embroidery Designs   |   FAQs & Whines   |   Image and Text Theft   |   Licensed Fabric   |   Licensing & Licenses   |   Patterns
Patterns Index   |   Profit   |   Quilting   |   Selvage   |   Stanford School of Law Case Outline
Tabberone Disclaimer   |   Trademark Extortion   |   Urban Myths   |   What To Do If You Are Veroed

Federal Court Cases
Alphabetically | by Federal Circuit | by Subject | by Court Quotations

Federal Statutes
Copyright Act 17 U.S.C. 5 | Digital Millenium Copyright Act 17 U.S.C. 12 | Lanham Act 15 U.S.C. 22

VeRO (Verified Right's Owner Program)
VeRO Commandments | VeRO-Verified Rights Owners Program | Counter Notice Letter
Counter Notice (pre-2003) | Counter Notice present | On-Line Survey from 2004 | Articles about VeRO | What To Do If You Are Veroed

Original material by Karen Dudnikov & Michael Meadors is © 1999-2019

A Cup Of Joe For A Joe
by Green Beans Coffee Company
Karen and Mike, also known to you as Tabberone, have been actively participating in various troop support programs for a number of years. An important one we have discovered and supported is one run by the Green Beans Coffee Company of Larkspur, California. The Green Beans Coffee Company runs coffee houses in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Middle East and at other US military bases around the world. Your donations are converted into email chits that are randomly given to military personal who are based near these coffee houses. You are then sent an email by Green Beans Coffee telling at what location your donation(s) was distributed. The military recipient of your donation is also given the opportunity to email you a thank you with a message, which many of them do.

Modern military deployment has changed very much since WWII, Korea and Vietnam. Back then there was no internet or cell phones. A soldier very rarely could call home or even go home on leave. But modern deployment does not alter the dangers they face. Green Beans Coffee is one of the little pleasures they can enjoy. Any donation makes a service man or service woman smile. We contribute every month.

More information is available at
We rarely link to other sites. It is a really good cause.



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