Protect Your Brand: Stop Intellectual Property Thieves on Etsy

Welcome to another installment of 10-minute branding!

10-Minute Branding Refresher: How do you build your brand 10 minutes at a time? You start small, and you simply begin. An excellent way to convince yourself to get going is to plan your ending. You can even set a timer. Then, be sure to bask in the success of your huge accomplishment of actually beginning and also appreciate the amount of work that got done. Then, repeat the process tomorrow. And the next day. And so on. You will be amazed at your branding progress . . . 10 minutes at a time.

As I previously noted in my article, Check for Copyright Infringement, if you create something of value, someone, at some point, is going to try to steal it from you.

Image by Freepik

That article explained that you need to stay vigilant and detailed how to regularly and easily check for copyright infringement. This article is one part of ‘what’s next?’ when you find a copycat and don’t have a lawyer to deal with the situation on your behalf. Since Etsy hosts approximately 5.3 million small business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide (source), AND I just happen to be one of them, this venue seemed like a good place to start.

Often times, people think that if they haven’t registered their intellectual property that they can’t protect it. While it’s certainly easier to protect your work with a trademark or patent, it’s not absolutely necessary. According to the US Copyright Office, “copyright exists from the moment the work is created” (source). So . . . how do you protect your copyright on Etsy?

Etsy launched a new Intellectual Property Portal in April of 2022. However, the launch was a soft one, and Etsy’s YouTube announcement of the portal has only 4,800 views as of this writing. As a result, you may very well be one of the many, many people who haven’t heard about this portal yet. If that’s the case, read on, because the answer to ‘what’s next’ is literally a 10-minute process!


  1. Go to the web site –
  2. Log into your Etsy account.
  3. Answer the basic questions about your brand/business.
  4. Go to the Intellectual Properties tab and “add a property” for the intellectual property that has been copied. You’ll need to: specify the type (copyright, trademark, patent, or other) and the property owner (i.e., you); include a link to the property being used online, the name of the work (which you can name on the fly), a description of the work (an item or design; an image, audio, video, or other media; writing or other text; a name, title, slogan, or other short phrase), a link describing the work in detail (which can be the same link used earlier), and whether the copyright is registered.
  5. Go to the Reports tab and “create a report.” You’ll need to name it, specify the property owner and the property type (copyright, trademark, patent, or other); select/check the intellectual property you just created; search for and select the listing(s) that infringes your work and then submit the report. That’s it!

You’ll then get an e-mail from Etsy within the next day or two with the results of the report. Each time I have found and submitted a report for a copyright thief, Etsy has removed the listing. I hope you find this tool as useful as I have. My ongoing quest for easy (10 minute) ways to accomplish challenging branding tasks was completely fulfilled with this tool.


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