“Pause and double-check what pattern you are quilting”

Way back in 2000 we noted that copyright litigation over quilt designs had gotten to be a hot area and that it was even possible for lawyers to specialize in “quilt law.” If you thought the only targets were large retailers and home furnishing lines with IP lawyers on retainer, though, think again.

“A number of years ago, an Amish woman created a pattern for the quilt,” Ken Treadwell said. “A friend of hers got her to register it, but being Amish, she truly didn’t enforce the copyright.”

But [Treadwell’s company] Almost Amish bought the copyright, and the owners intend to vigorously enforce the design rights.

“We have stopped numerous people from selling and making this quilt,” Treadwell said. “We have an attorney that has informed the Mennonite Central Committee that they can’t sell it anymore.”

Local fire company officials were the latest to get the notice.

[Lancaster Online]


  • Because no Amish woman would ever have designed a quilt pattern without the incentive provided by copyright law!

  • this pattern is an adaption of a bargello[a type of needlepoint] pattern stitch. it’s been around for centuries. how can they possibly register it? i’m just a common person but it doesn’t makr sense. as a needlreworker in many mediums i’ve adapted many this way, both back and forth.

  • In cases where a copyright or patent has changed hands, juries should be entitled to hear evidence that the original creator would disapprove of the way that the current holder is trying to collect on it.

  • So if I decide to repaint my Manhattan apartment, I could be forced to stop because the Canarsie Indians would not have approved of semi-gloss?