Diaper WAHM Advice--I'm sad and nervous :( - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 08-04-2004, 12:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So, one of my main concerns/fears of becoming a diaper wahm was making something unique so I wouldn't be accused of stealing another's design. We all know that there is only so much you can change with a diaper design. I spent many hours and many prototypes to come up with my own diaper pattern/design and I finally came up with one I liked. It's as unique as I can make it: the way the soaker snaps in hasn't been, to my knowledge, done before. This design is entirely my own--drawn by me.

So...while I'm waiting for my testers to report back to me, I decided to put a few of my diapers on ebay because I'm running low in the checking acct. Tonight I get a "question from an ebay member" from username bbybuster asking if I'm a WAHM licensed to sell Cuddlebuns and could I tell them a little bit about the licensing process. Well..."bbybuster" isn't that hard to decipher as BabyByYou Buster and IMO, they are implying that I've stolen the Cuddlebuns design. I replied back to them with information about my diapers--how I have 3 distinct sizes, how the soaker is, that I designed my own pattern, etc.

This makes me sad and freaks me out. Can they decide that my design isn't different enough? What can they do to me? It makes me so mad that I went through all that work to design something myself and then get accused in a round about way. Any thoughts? TIA
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#2 of 15 Old 08-04-2004, 12:15 AM
 
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How frustrating. I am interested in reading the other replies that you will get--I am not sure how copyright works.
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#3 of 15 Old 08-04-2004, 01:06 AM
 
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I wish I was the one with the answer. There is a lot of information on copyright laws out there. If one has a coyrighted diaper and can prove that you copied theirs(not that you did) then there would be a problem. But there is only so much one can do with a diaper. I mean it is for the bottom and groin area. It holds pee and poop . Some are fancy, some are simple, some are organic, some are hand-dyed, some are pre-dyed. They are all different and the same to aa degree, so I do not know. Eat some chocolate and know that You have worked hard and deserve a pat on the back( AND SOME SALES).
I wish I had more knowledge for you.
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#4 of 15 Old 08-04-2004, 01:12 AM
 
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Honestly, I've only seen one Cuddlebuns over a year ago, so I can't even begin to compare it.

It seems that if you have documented your design well, and your thought process as to how you came up with your design, then that will help you if there is a problem. Do Cuddlebuns have separate soakers?

I'm not a lawyer, so I can't answer any of your questions. Sorry!

However, I can say this... your diaper is cute! Good luck!

You know, you should just email back and say "Sorry, this isn't a Cuddlebuns diaper. Maybe you could search for Cuddlebuns if you are looking for one of those." :
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#5 of 15 Old 08-04-2004, 01:23 AM
 
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Ok, I've been thinking about this. You can't copyright a diaper. And a license isn't a copyright either. You can go buy a shirt and make one of your own using that shirt as a guide, even template and you aren't breaking copyright. A license protects the owner from people buying the pattern (such as Cuddlebuns) and then making diapers from that pattern and selling them. When you buy the license you buy the right to reproduce that exact diaper.

If you want to protect the design of a diaper, you have to get a patent.

Now in the WAHM world, since very few diapers have patents attached to them, you *can* copy a non-patented diaper and then sell it, but that would be in VERY bad taste! However, as much as I hate to say it, I don't think it is illegal.

So, even if you did get "inspiration" from a Cuddlebuns, as long as you aren't copying it from the pattern without buying the license, then I don't *think* you are breaking any rules.

HOWEVER, I am not a lawyer, so I really don't know if any of this is accurate.
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#6 of 15 Old 08-04-2004, 01:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I did reply to them stating that I had 3 sizes, a snap in quick dry soaker, that I drafted my pattern myself, etc. We'll see if they get back to me or not. I guess I can see if you look at it one way how it could compare, but I could pick out a half dozen other diapers it could compare to as well. Mountaincaats--you're right--there is only so many ways you can design a diaper. Is mine a copycat because it's a front snapping diaper? Is it a copycat because I have snaps on the left wing for crossover tabs (sugarpeas also has that)? If I moved them over to the right wing, then, would it be fine? Then My diaper doesn't have leg ruffles. It's not a one-size diaper. It doesn't have a sewn in soaker. It doesn't have a center stitch. Mine have larger, more rounded tabs. The crotch area is less bulky. I dunno...I just know that I don't want to fight this--I'm broke as it is from buying fabrics, notions, logos, etc. and I don't even have a business to show for it yet.

Thanks for your kind words, ladies. I think they're cute too!
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#7 of 15 Old 08-04-2004, 01:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Janette. You've given me hope! Maybe they are just trying to scare people? They didn't even tell me they were the BBY police, but it didn't take me more than a second to figure it out. Maybe what I've told them is good enough for them to drop it.
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#8 of 15 Old 08-04-2004, 01:34 AM
 
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Hmmm You know I have worried about this too. I don't think mine look like CB's, (yours either for that matter) but what if someone else thinks they do. I suppose all front snapping diapers look similar, how could they not?


toh nak

mum to a crew...
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#9 of 15 Old 08-04-2004, 02:14 AM
 
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well as someone who has a licensed patented diaper I don't think you should stress over it.
they'd have to prove it was made from their pattern and it isn't even one-sized so they really can't do anything about it. It is designed and constructed totally differently.
I mean many front snapping diapers exist, very baby for instance look like that, sugarpeas is another, I really wouldn't worry and believe me I've been through the legal process. The only thing they have protection for is if you buy their pattern, make a diaper and then sell it without their license. You didn't do that.
even a one-size diaper wouldn't "infringe" so long as it wasn't actually made from the pattern or by copying a real cuddlebuns exactly.
I think you're fine.
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#10 of 15 Old 08-04-2004, 02:30 AM
 
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There are issues with trade dress and stuff like that regarding copying diapers.... I dont know all the legalities of it tho. But I can tell you as a former CB maker they wont do anything about it... they never have, never will. The BBY members get upset when it looks like someone is truly copying the patterns (and honestly, rightfully so as they paid for a license), but the administration of the program has never done anything about it as far as I know/can remember. I'd ignore it and move on, all you have to worry about is if you are comfortable that its your own design and your own ideas. If it was a one size and looked similar to cuddlebuns I would probably not sell them (even if I did design the pattern on my own) because they were there first, however thats not the case here.

HTH!
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#11 of 15 Old 08-04-2004, 02:39 AM
 
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I'm not a lawyer...but one look at your diaper and it doesn't look like a Cuddlebuns to me. The soaker is absolutely different...your ruffles aren't an inch out and it's not as rounded or bilky in the soaker area.

I agree with Jessica...unless they can prove you copied from them, then you are in the clear.

What I would do now is make a copy of your pattern, put a C on it with the date and your name, put it in the mail and mail it to yourself. Keep that mailed pattern safe as the proof of your copyright (a lawyer told me this in the middle of a trademark dispute). The postmark is proof of the date of your copyright apparently. Don't quote me on it! LOL...but I did it for my tote patterns.

Argghhh...this issue just burns my behind. If everyone was to reinvent the wheel every time someone had to make a car, we'd still be riding on horses. I don't advocate copying but I do appreciate the concept of inspiration (whether on not you were inspired by Cuddlebuns...the mere fact is that you were inspired to make a front snapped diaper with a folded snapped in soaker).

Good luck with this!
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#12 of 15 Old 08-04-2004, 04:21 AM
 
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It sounds like this person obviously must not have looked too carefully at the pictures on that listing.

And PATTERNS are copyright protected, so if you had made the dipes from a Cuddlebuns pattern to sell them (and didn't own a license to do so), then you would be infringing on the copyright. Otherwise even tracing a dipe to make a pattern for dipes to sell is technically not illegal, though it's kinda smarmy (and it happens ALL THE TIME in the fashion industry, it's called knocking off)

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#13 of 15 Old 08-04-2004, 06:23 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubelin
(and it happens ALL THE TIME in the fashion industry, it's called knocking off)
I was just coming in here to say that. : You know how, after the Oscars or whatever air on one night and some celebrity is wearing a *hot* dress, the NEXT day the evening magazine shows will have the same dress in their studio to show? It's not because they went to J Lo's house and asked to borrow it, it's because another designer knocked it off. And their intent, in that case, is to make it as identical to the original as possible, because they're selling it on the basis that it is the same (or as close as you can get) to the dress that J Lo wore. In this case, you're not saying *This is JUST LIKE a cuddlebuns*. In fact, you've made several points here about how different your diapers are from theirs. You have absolutely nothing to worry about - legally, or (IMO) ethically. I mean, they're diapers. How different are they really going to get?

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#14 of 15 Old 08-04-2004, 11:50 AM
 
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My goodness, that does not look like a Cuddlebuns at all! I can't believe that person that emailed you has nothing else to do with their time but malke you feel that way.

I think your diaper looks awesome! I do know of one other mama that does her soakers that way, but I am pretty sure she only puts them in her AIOs.

Good luck in your diaper making!
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#15 of 15 Old 08-04-2004, 03:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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you gals are awesome! Thank you for putting my mind at ease. Like I said, this was my biggest fear/hurdle about designing/sewing diapers.

I own a CB pattern that I bought a while back. I got that out and put it next to my pattern--they don't look close at all. I guess that's all I really need then.

Interesting idea about mailing my pattern to myself. Is that all I would really need?

Thanks again ladies! I'm feeling confident again.
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