Some helpful information from Rhonda Geneva of GeneveaGirlsDesigns.
Anyone wishing to look into the legal grounds for patents, trademarks, and copyrights, look into the newly formed group in Grand Rapids called GRIN (Grand Rapids Inventors Network). They can answer questions regarding rights.
Patents are very expensive (I know I've filed for one in 2007/2008). Not only expensive, having knowledge of the various types of patents and what they cover could be helpful. You need to ask yourself if you plan to use a patent for litigation or just to ward off copycats. If you plan to file a patent on a product you've designed, it is best to file before exposing your products on public sites. There are limitations on whether you can file a patent depending on when your sales begin.
For more info, contact Rhonda!