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Even though Bottle Cap Necklaces have a patent, can individuals still make the item and sell it for profit legally? I have a friend who has started her own jewelry business and I would like to buy bottlecap necklaces from her but I was told by someone else that she shouldn't sell them because of this patent. Can anyone clear it up for me?

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Welcome to the site but, sorry, this question is probably off-topic and also hard to answer without knowing more, like the patent number. –  George White Mar 22 '13 at 5:18

3 Answers 3

IANAL but this seems bogus. The metal bottle cap was invented in the late 1800s; the discarded tops have been used ever since for a bunch of different secondary uses. Some clown filed a patent in 1996 for using the cap in jewelry design....there's got to be a zillion examples of prior art (I'm not a collector but have seen many examples of bottle tops in old "naive" jewelry in antiques stores). Best info on historical uses would come from antiques dealers, or there might be some printed resources as well.

Here's a link that describes patents vs copyrights for jewelry & why jewelry patents are pretty rare. Legitimate jewelry designers sometimes use patents (more often copyright) to protect full designs. Trying to get a patent in the year 1996 (a full century after the invention of the bottle cap) for their blanket use in any-and-all jewelry design seems pretty ridiculous. YMMV

http://www.jewelrypatents.com/

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This might be what you are looking for: bottle cap jewelry

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What George is probably saying is that you can sell them, because if anyone complains, that patent could be invalidated by the older patent which George has linked.

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No - I do not know the number of the patent you are worried about, how the claims in it that concern you relate to what you are planning to make or exactly how all of that relates to the patent I located. What I was saying is that, although this is of topic people might be able to give some help if we knew what patent concerned you. Since I didn't get an answer to that question I poked around and found the one I linked to. I do not know if it is still valid, if it the one you were thinking of or what else might be out there. –  George White Mar 22 '13 at 19:34

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