I am planning on making a cell phone design for a tshirt design, and wanted to make a design that resembled the iPhone. Now, I am not going to take a picture off the apple website, and print it to a shirt. I plan on making a vector style design in the shape of the iPhone.
Would this in any way be illegal?
Well, Apple have tried suing people for making smartphones that look similar to theirs. I'm going to say that it's not illegal, but if Apple wanted to kick up a fuss they would.
The best thing to do is make it look "like" an iPhone, but a bit more generic.
It'll be a fine line- Apple surely would claim there's certain aspects of the iPhone design that are proprietary. Trying to prove copyright of a rectangular piece of black with a round button might be difficult to do though.
It's probably not blatant infringement meaning unless your tshirt goes ultra viral, you're not likely to peak the interests of anyone's lawyers.
But then, what do I know
Hmm, I'd drop that idea pretty quick. Obviously you may be small enough to stay under the radar, but generally speaking, Apple (like most corporations these days) toe a pretty hard line on IP matters.
If you draw an identical copy of the iPhone, yes, it's illegal. Apple has a design patent for the iPhone. Reproducing that design is illegal. Reproducing it for profit (e.g. selling t-shirts with an iphone design on them) could mean you coughing up a lot of money to Apple (probably more than you profit from the sale of your t-shirts).
I don't think Apple would care.. unless your earnings are in the gazillions
Not true. Apple is one of the most litigous companies out there. Look what they did to this guy:
Now It's Personal: Apple Taking on Teen Who Sold White iPhones | The New York Observer
Thanks for that story Andrew.
However, Sam is gonna sell t-shirts, not phones!
It's all you now Sam... your heard it from a lawyer. I'm just another entrepreneur wannabe like you... remember though, no guts, no glory.