Jewelry Patents: How to Avoid Jewelry Design Patent Infringement

February 05th, 2020 ‧ 4 min read

Table of contents

Key Facts About the Jewelry Industry

  • The size of the worldwide jewelry market in 2018 was valued at a whopping USD $278.5 billion.
  • Gold remains the most common and popular metal used in jewelry making across the globe. Gold holds the greatest market share, and in 2018, it was valued at USD $117.1 billion.
  • China was the largest consumer of gold in 2018, followed by India and the U.S.
  • Rings were the most popular product, accounting for a 28.9% market share in 2018.
The Top 10 Exporters of Jewelry Are:
Source: Grand View Research

Are Jewelry Patents Useful?

A design patent covers the look and feel of an invention, so in the past, jewelry patents used to be very popular as jewelry designs could not be copyrighted.

An early jewelry design patent from 1860

What Are the Benefits of Obtaining a Jewelry Patent?

  • Jewelry design patents protect the design of the piece of jewelry
  • In comparison to utility patents, jewelry design patents are relatively cheap and easy to obtain
  • They prevent the jewelry design from being copied
  • The jewelry designer can exclusively benefit and profit from their design for 15 years

A Real-Life Jewelry Design Patent Infringement Case

In 2012, BK Jewellery took legal action against Prestige International in a design patent infringement lawsuit. The lawsuit was focussed on BK Jewellery’s diamond jewelry design patent. This diamond jewelry in question has a novel, never seen before shape, that was originally introduced back in 2008 in Hong Kong by company affiliate Wing Yee.

BK Jewellery holds a global patent on this unusual diamond jewelry design, which includes one full-cut diamond solitaire encircled by flawlessly matched single cut stones. This silhouette has an unusual appearance and artfully mimics a more substantial solitaire diamond.

New York-based AV Jewelry (BK Jewellery’s sole licensee in North America) stated that the infringement of the jewelry design patent by Prestige International’s Unity Jewelry had caused a loss of profits, confusion to their customers, and harm to AV jewelry’s goodwill.

In 2013 the court action against Prestige International was reinforced by examiner decision at the USPTO, verifying the validity of BK jewellery’s design patent. The USPTO rejected the prior art supplied by Prestige International in an attempt to challenge the patent’s validity.

The damages sought in this design patent infringement case were the entire profits gained from sales of the infringing Prestige International jewelry by the company itself and its clients/distributors, a recall of the infringing jewelry involved, and lawyer’s fees.

The Rise of Handmade Jewelry Online (Etsy)

Etsy is an online marketplace for handmade and vintage items and supplies, as well as unusual factory-made goods. Etsy’s definition of vintage is anything over 20 years old. Etsy launched in 2005 and has experienced massive growth over the years.

Here are some interesting Etsy facts and figures:

  • 95% of Etsy sellers run their shop from home
  • 81% of Etsy sales are made by repeat purchasers
  • Etsy has sellers in 83 countries
  • 34% of Etsy sales are from outside of the US
Etsy data source: DMR
Etsy data source: DMR
Etsy data source: DMR

How to Perform a Jewelry Design Patent Search

Lacking IP knowledge and adequate support, many jewelry designers are simply oblivious to the consequences of design patent infringement, the importance of protecting their jewelry designs, and how to perform a design patent search in the first place. You can find out more about design patent infringement by reading our E-commerce related articles here.

We are now going to show you how to perform a jewelry design patent search using Design Search by Patentcloud. Three simple steps are all it takes!

Step 1: Upload your design

With a simple drag and drop, upload your design into Design Search’s image-based design patent search engine. Utilize the image cropping tool to crop any background interference out of your image, thus increasing the accuracy of the results.

Step 2: Refine your search

Take advantage of Design Search’s features to narrow down your search scope, thus making it even easier to find potentially similar designs.

Step 3: Get your results

It really is as easy as that. Once you have been presented with your results, you can then use Design Search’s additional features such as the side-by-side image comparison to really help you to compare your design image with others. Additionally, you can use the image inspection tool to enlarge images for greater clarity.

Design Search Results
Design Search Image Comparison Feature

Special Offer

Design Search by Patentcloud is a budget-friendly infringement evaluation tool that can be used independently, without ever needing to outsource to an IP professional.

Take advantage of a 7-day free trial of Design Search to ensure that your precious jewelry designs are unique, free from the risk of infringement, and protectable.

New call-to-action

Related Posts
The IP world moves fast

Subscribe to receive the latest insights right in your inbox.

By submitting your contact information, you understand and agree to our GDPR, Terms of Use and Privacy Policy