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Unfortunately, there are some unscrupulous folks out there that have no integrity and will blatantly steal other makers' successful designs without giving any credit to the originator, or having any real idea why the designs work. Hopefully, consumers will have enough integrity not to support them if they are made aware of the issue (IMO, if you are supporting a maker that is copying another maker's design without their blessing or approval, you are helping the copycat steal, period.).

If you don't think it would qualify for a patent anyhow, there is probably not much you can do to protect your design. Copyrighting and Trade Marking don't offer any real protection as far as designs are concerned. Ultimately, even if you are able to get a patent it doesn't offer very much protection in the holster industry. It is my understanding that you would have to prove a financial loss at the hands of the copycat and issue a cease and desist notice to them, and pursue the matter in court from there if it persists. This would cost several thousand dollars, and that just isn't an option for most small businesses.

Personally, I just try my best to make the highest quality product that I can, and try to give credit where it is due.

NOTE - I am not a lawyer, and this should not be considered legal advice. If you really think you have something, don't even worry about what anyone tells you on the 'NET and go straight to a patent lawyer to get some real advisement on how to go about this. Good luck with your designs.
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