Monday, April 5, 2010

Will Martha Come After Me?

Dear Rich: I have been teaching a class on a pattern that I designed. It is an old design for a knitting basket. Martha Stewart has done a version and so has the magazine, "Canadian Living." The big difference between theirs and mine is that theirs is quick and easy, mine is much more complicated in order to show off lots of different coordinating fabrics (quilters love using lots of different patterns). My question is, "Am I safe from the wrath of Martha?" The sizes are all pretty much standard from the vintage basket. I could change my size if it would help. 
We don't think you need to change anything (and thanks for the photo). It seems unlikely that Martha could claim proprietary rights to the idea of a knitting basket with yardstick frame but we searched the USPTO website just in case. Martha owns plenty of patents (for example) but unless we missed something we didn't see a design patent for the basket (especially unlikely considering the pre-existing world of baskets). The Dear Rich Staff loves Martha (f'real) and we think she would be fine with your basket (and so would her lawyers -- no, not those lawyers).