All About Intellectual Property

First, what is intellectual property? It is a form of property in which the creators and manufacturers have exclusive ownership rights. Something can have many types of Intellectual Properties at the same time, and someone can create a new one even if it is based on existing Intellectual Property.

Intellectual property is a bit complicated, but as an Etsy seller, it is something that you should understand. This way, you can protect your creations and respect other’s work as well. You must be aware of and comply with the intellectual property rights that apply to your listings and shop.

Intellectual Property Terms You Should Know

Types of Intellectual Properties


Trademarks safeguard the sponsorship or origin of a product or service. They can be a picture, word, smell, sound, color – again when linked to the origin of a service or product. When your product is confused with someone’s trademark, it is infringed.

In general, you protect your trademark when you use it commercially for your goods. Additionally, your rights become stronger the more you use them. They are valid for as long as you utilize the trademark; if a trademark owner does not take steps to preserve their rights, the rights may be diminished.

There are defenses against infringing on someone else’s trademark rights, especially if there is little likelihood of confusion. Additional regulations govern the fair use of someone’s trademarks, but they vary by country and are not the same as the rules governing copyrights.


Copyright protects “authorship works,” such as books, movies, music, and other artistic works. Even if you haven’t registered the copyright, you obtain copyright protection as soon as you “fix” the creative work in a physical form.

Copying the work, either in whole or in part, can infringe on copyright rights. There are several criteria that determine how long a copyright lasts, but it is generally around 100 years from the day of establishment.

There are a few well-known copyright defenses, such as fair use (or fair dealing). These restrictions differ from nation to country and can be difficult. For example, you should not presume that a use is fair just because others use it, because it is free, or because it merely copies a portion of a work. On the other hand, someone may assert rights to something that you reasonably consider to be fair use.


Patents safeguard innovative and non-obvious innovations, which are often for a product or a method. They are costly to obtain and might take years to register. Understanding patent rights may be quite difficult. It entails comprehending a patent’s claims, determining when a patent is valid, and determining how they apply to a product. When faced with a possible patent issue, most individuals seek the advice of an attorney.

Patent rules vary considerably from one country to the next. Unlike copyright or most trademark concerns, you may often interfere with someone’s patent even if you are unaware of it. In addition, unlike most other intellectual property rights, there is no comparable “fair use” protection for a patent under US law.

What If a Shop Doesn’t Comply with the Intellectual Property Policy of Etsy?

If your store is accused of intellectual property infringement, or if you contain listings that are likely to infringe on the rights of third parties, Etsy may take a variety of steps under its Terms of Service, including its Intellectual Property Policy.

On and off Etsy, creative artists must respect one other’s rights, such as third-party copyrights. It is also crucial to note that Etsy works hard to ensure that its Terms of Service are obeyed. Given that Etsy cannot decide the merits of disputes between businesses and rightsholders, the best method to settle this is through conversation between the two parties, rather than by attempting to get around the policies of Etsy.


Now that you are already aware of the basics of intellectual property, you can read the article How To Sell On Etsy Successfully and start the road to success!

Recent Posts

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin

Want More Etsy Sales?

Learn how thousands of sellers are finding their financial freedom on Etsy and how you can do that for your self!


Join Our Newsletter

Get updates when we post new articles and training, and get notified of any promotional offers!