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I'm working on an (what I believe to be) innovative new design for a holster/carrying method. My concern is, once I've made this available, what can be done about copycats?

I'd just be starting out and extremely small time initially, but established industries would be in an excellent position to adapt their construction methods and mass produce, thus losing all of my development effort.

Is there any approach to copyrighting a design? I'm not certain the approach would be patentable since it's really leveraging a number of existing ideas and technologies, just arranging them in a unique way to provide a great option for users.
In the world of holster making, there are some who do the work and bring ideas to the table and there are some who are content just to sit at it.

Add an extra stitch line or alter the shape slightly and they call it their design even though it looks a lot like yours. No matter how you cut the pork it’s still pork, but they’ll try to convince everyone it’s bacon!

Furthermore, if you find you’ve been copied and have the temerity to protest on an open forum, the copycat enablers will put it back on you as if it’s your fault, or they’ll simply tell you, you should be “flattered” (something about imitation being the sincerest form of).

Anyway, good luck on that one. Patent your design if it’s patentable and be prepared to spend as much as needed to defend it. My good friend, Wayne Novak, defended his rear sight patent vigorously and kept the wolves at bay for a good many years. Even if you’re not eventually awarded a patent, the patent search process will allow you to at least label your product “patent pending” which is enforceable and will buy you some time.

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