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Let’s talk about something today – trademark infringement. I spend a great deal of time on the blog detailing things you can and can’t do legally in your craft business related to copyrights and trademarks. In fact, there’s a whole section dedicated to trademarks on the Cutting for Business blog that you can view here.
Every once in a while, I see a conversation online or I get an email in my inbox asking for “proof” of shops being shut down or legal action taken against small sellers. It seems that some small sellers have convinced themselves that trademark infringements are some sort of urban myth. Today, let’s debunk the myth and look at the facts.
What is the Purpose of the Transparency Report from Etsy?
Etsy states that the purpose of the Transparency Report is: “…to provide visibility into our content policy enforcement, intellectual property takedowns, member disputes, and requests for information or enforcement.” -Page 2, Etsy Transparency Report, 2018
Notable Numbers from the 2018 Transparency Report
- Etsy received 27,023 properly submitted takedown notices.
- Etsy removed or disabled access to 404,640 listings from 91,381 sellers.
- Etsy closed 6,775 shops for repeat infringement.
- There was a 71% increase in intellectual-property related takedowns over 2017.
- Information from page 3, Etsy Transparency Report, 2018.
Read Other Etsy Transparency Reports
Are Trademarks Only a Concern on Etsy?
No. Trademarks are a concern everywhere – from craft shows and fairs to selling to friends and family to using social media or your own website. I used Etsy to highlight the seriousness of trademark infringement because the numbers are readily available.
What does this article highlight? It. Isn’t. Worth. It. It simply isn’t worth it to attempt to sell products with trademarked sayings, cartoon characters, or brand logos. Not only can your shop get shut down – but you could be taken to court – and potentially lose your business, home, savings, and more. Want to read the most prevalent trademark myths? Click here.
Let another crafter know that trademark infringement is a big deal. Save the image below to Pinterest.
Since 2015, Christine Schinagl has been helping crafters start and run craft businesses through her blog, Cutting for Business. As a Silhouette and Cricut crafter herself, she has a unique take on what works and what doesn’t work in the craft business world. She also teaches a course on creating digital SVG designs, available at How to Design SVGs.