Looking for Copyright vs Trademark vs Patent Discussion


I’m Gordon from Vancouver, Canada. New to the watch face design world. I tried searching for copyright discussion and whether it is a copyrightable item or a patent design that works best for a particular design. And is the effort just to expensive and difficult to enforce. This is all assuming it is worth copyrighting or patenting or trademark.

Is there a old discussion that someone can direct me? Is there a copyright/lawyer that someone would recommend?

Looking forward to hearing from everyone and to hopefully contribute to the community.


I only know that the swiss watch association is nowadays very active. They went to court in usa because of the great amount watch face brand copies.

I’m interested in how to not infringe on others (I sense that is a big question nowadays) plus how to protect my own design…without spending an arm and a leg.


Well, every design you produce, if it doesn‘t base on an actual design of an other brand, is your personal design. Nobody can take it away. If others copy your personal design (whole or in parts) you have the right to force this person to take it down.

In extreme, if you call a laywer, the person has to pay you money for the copyright violation.

I once had such a part when a person posted one of the picture of one of my model shootings.


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It really depends who you are…

Some are aloud to use SuperMario and other icinic themes… some can still use Rolex or other brand names and logo’s.

If you look around even some payed faces are not oke… seems they really need money and aloud violations as long as they can and they have a few lines in the agreement that you loose your money if you buy something that get removed…

It kinda sucks Facer never opens up why they aloud some people to use brand names and logo’s an new designs get banned… seems they can only block new uploads and take the money from the old stuff that is not edited or otherwise brought to the scanner…

it’s just realy strange that they can get away with it…


You´re partly wrong with your conclusion. It doesn´t depend on who you are. I confess that i did make some watches with themes from pokemon, deadpool, star wars and others but i never would give them out as pay watches. If these companies would have a problem with these faces i would immediately take them down. They are fan art, a contribution to these games/films, nothing else … free watch faces to give fun to some fanboys and -girls.

Copying famous watch brand is a totally different story. Facer is hunting for all watch faces from worldwide famous brands and they throw them out of the platform as soon as they recognize them. They do have an automated system as well for this task.

And - none of the premium partners will copy brands.

You´re right in saying that they are not perfect yet in hunting every violation of copyrights, but they learn quickly. And they have to do - otherwise they will get heavy problems with the swiss watch association as example. ImhO they need one person in their staff who is only responsible for hunting and removing brand clones.

Facer/Little labs is not directly responsible of the watch faces published by private users, but they do their very best to remove them as quickl as possible. If you see copyright violation feel free to tell them and you will see that they will react.

They definitely don´t allow any user to use brand names.

So which payed watch faces are not okay? Tell them to me and i will be the first in the row who will demand them to take these watch faces down. I don´t know any payed watch faces.

Who? Please name examples - and tell them to facer! I don´t like such undefined outputs…

Tell me: Should i remove my star wars themed watch faces? Should every user remove such watch faces?


Has anyone on this website ever copyrighted, trademarked or patented any watch faces or parts thereof?

If so, which did you use and why? And where did you do this? USPTO, Swiss, other locations?

Or are most people in this just for the pleasure of creating something for their own personal enjoyment?

What percentage of designers would like to get some monetary reward?

The problem, with fan art, is the fact that even if it’s distributed for free, it attracts potentially paying customers to the Facer platform. And that is the problem. The indirect advantage of using somebody else’s copyrighted work. Because it is, without doubt, an advantage.

Quite one year later and still arguing about the same things, @GAUSS and @UserUnknow?
Sorry, I meant @prinspils1966.

For United States members using this discussion as reference this may help: Frequently Asked Questions about Copyright | U.S. Copyright Office

I can speak only for myself. I am in this because I enjoy it. It is way too time consuming otherwise.

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Isn‘t it nice to know that some things never change? :wink:

You are right in your conclusion. It is an indirect advantage, i can‘t deny that.

But that wasn‘t/isn‘t my intention. I only play with possibilities and i don‘t think i harm someone with a fan-art watch face. Life and commercial will go on with or without my watch face. And, as i told before, if i will offense any offical, i would take down the specific face immediately.

We are no laywer, no police, no judges, aren‘t we? I am an artist, creating something new, sometimes with puzzle pieces of things others created before. Doesn‘t photographers, engineers and other do that as well? A lot of people on this planet copy each others ideas, even big studios do so…

Think about that facts…

I really try to make unique faces, even create all my decorations and background patterns myself… but before i started to make my own style i researched thousand of watches to build a base for my creativity. Creativity is when you alter your experiences, play with realities. Without input before - creativity is just a shadow.

Greetings, GAUSS.

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Gordon, it’s really not a difficult question to answer. Simply create everything yourself: background, foreground, etc. Use elements provided by Creator or design your own. The other alternative is to obtain permission from the owner of anything that you want to “borrow”. Some may only request that you credit them by name. Most request that you do not sell any component of their work.

Protecting your designs may get expensive. Watermarking or adding your logo to each watch face at least gives it your signature if nothing more.

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Oh, but they are. In fact, Samsung has recently been sued $100M by Swiss watchmaker Swatch and has, since then, autonomously started to remove all watchfaces featuring copyrighted material.

Even if they are free watch faces.

Want to know why?

That’s why.

Because paid or free, is exactly the same thing as long as the presence of copyrighted material benefits you.
And Samsung core business is all but watch faces.

Well, i have nothing to be afraid of, i will just have to remove a few theme based fan-art watch faces in case if anyone is abused by them, all others are totally my creations.

Of course. In fact, I’m not referring to your indirect advantage, @GAUSS.

Yes. I know. You mean the facer platform…

I think they will deal with the issue, in the future.
The day they do, they’ll have nothing else to be worried about. That day, as I said, I’ll be their greatest fan.
They have a great potential. I’m sure there are a lot of good designers out there willing to work with them.
Only, not for free :relaxed:

This leads me to my next question. How is Facer different from any other similar platforms from this particular perspective? Do people use other platforms and why?

Is it a tools difference?
A support difference?
is the community different?
Is it because a design can be easily applied to various watches?
Is their software better then specific ones from say Samsung for example? (I get the impression that Apple does not allow 3rd party face development but appears to be hints out there)
Is this better for straight fan art or better for those who want to earn a few bucks?
Is it safer here? Is Facer more relaxed about infringement? Or are they starting to be more (or have always been) aware of pressures from global brands?

Ultimately, why play in this sandbox?

Thank you again for all of your thoughts.

I don‘t know. I simply love to create watch faces, for free and paid ones. I don‘t know a lot about other platforms and communities, so i can‘t answer your question. Watchmaker is a good creator program but i found it very complicated to use, the samsung program should be nearly as good as the facer creator i‘ve heard. The only thing i know, is that‘s a really nice community here with friendly people.

But i am curious why do you ask all that questions, @ghsu.ca ? What do you plan to do here beside of creating watch faces?

By a developer perspective.

You can use Samsung Gear Watch Designer. Quite easy to use, limited by the intrinsic limitation of the program itself.
The only alternative is using Tizen Studio but you need to know web programming (Javascript, CSS etc.).
You can sell you watch faces on the Samsung Store. There’s a lot of competence and the store is not well organized as Google Play Store. But Samsung watches are the most sold watches after Apple ones.Sharing revenue is 70/30.

Wear OS (formerly Android Wear).
Watch faces on Wear OS are Android apps.
You have the advantage of full control over watch hardware. But you need to be a Java programmer.
Potentially limitless. But if you’re not familiar with programming, avoid it. I personally like it the most. But I had to develop several different sets of Java libraries to control sensors, location, Google Fit access etc. Gratifying, though. Sharing revenue on the Play Store is 70/30.

Apps like Facer and Watchmaker stand like an interface between the watch face and the watch hardware.
You don’t need to program, just assemble graphic elements.
Also, you can develop once and deploy on multiple watch platforms, from Samsung Tizen to Google WearOS.

If you’re interested in selling your creations (earn a few bucks), with WatchMaker, you can package your watch face and sell it directly on your Google Play account but it’s a less popular platform with respect to Facer.
To sell your watch faces here, you have to be invited into the Partner program. Sharing revenue is unknown.

I believe pressure from global brands will increase constantly. For example, the recent EU copyright law will be fully effective in Europe in a couple of years. But,then again, you shouldn’t sell copyrighted work, so…

I don’t find productive playing in any sandbox, unless you do it just for fun. I want to sell what I create.
But a lot of people does find it interesting. It depends on what you want.