What is PatentWear?
PatentWear is the company we’ve established to offer our original patent designs, derived—and inspired—from actual patent drawings, as wearable (and usable!) art. Our About Us page tells all. If you have any further questions, we can answer specific queries via your use of the form on our Contact Us page.
What Exactly is a Patent?
The founding fathers of the United States of America wrote patent protection into the U.S. Constitution in the form of Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8, stating Congress shall have the power “to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”
However, the concept as we know it today did not originate in America, but was probably brought with earliest settlers from England. Most countries today have their own system of patent protection, but which of them is recognized elsewhere is a subject far beyond our scope here. The U.S. patent system went through several reinventions itself over the years, and in 1975 it was renamed to include trademarks.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office says:
A patent is an intellectual property right granted by the Government of the United States of America to an inventor “to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the United States or importing the invention into the United States” for a limited time in exchange for public disclosure of the invention when the patent is granted.
There are three types of patents. Utility patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof. Design patents may be granted to anyone who invents a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture. Plant patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant.
How Can I Contact PatentWear?
We prefer to communicate by email, because we can respond to your questions and concerns much faster, more efficiently, and in writing. We do envision a large room full of PatentWear phone operators some day, but, you’ll need to buy a few shirts first! Please see our Contact Us page, and use the online form provided there to receive the quickest response.
SPECIAL NOTICE: The PatentWear office will temporarily shut down for the month of March 2019 while we all head out of town on an epic adventure in a land far, far away from cyberspace… but rest assured: our handy automated system is still able to accept and fulfill your orders. However, we are unable to respond to special requests or return authorizations, emails, or phone calls for the duration (we’re really not ignoring you, and will catch up when we return to the Real World). See you again in April!
How Eco-Friendly Are You?
We are a relatively small company, but we take responsibility towards our earthly environment seriously, and do what we can, however modest those efforts may be. Our products are made-to-order so we only produce what’s necessary when necessary. Our printing process uses eco-friendly water-based inks that are naturally PVC and phthalate-free, while remaining durable and long-wearing. Our garments come from a variety of sources, and we try our best to ensure they were produced by socially responsible manufacturers. Efforts to reduce our own environmental footprint include an in-house recycling policy, conscious reduction of energy use, the use of solar power wherever possible, and the use of recycled materials whenever possible.
What Does “MS|Color” or “MS|Lineart” Mean in Some of Your Product Names?
“MS” is an abbreviation that indicates products in our Museum Series patent design line. PatentWear’s Museum Series designs are usually available in two versions: color and line art. The “lineart” version (line art as drawn for the original patents) is printed in a single color, usually “blueprint blue” unless otherwise indicated. The color versions have been digitally hand-painted in our own artistic interpretation of the patents’ real-world manifestations. This series differs from other PatentWear designs in that they are all created from a multiple number of significant patents for each subject, as opposed to the usual one or two highlighted in the rest of our designs, and their story is that of a larger picture. Actual patent numbers, filing dates, and inventors are included in artistically arranged compositions depicting the subject’s evolution on which the version of it recognized today has most definitely depended.
May I Suggest a Few of My Own Great Ideas to You? You Don’t Seem to Offer a Favorite Subject/Theme...
While we have many more ideas ourselves—lots of them currently in the works—we welcome your suggestions as well. We want to know our customers’ interests, and if we can possibly accommodate a favorite subject of yours, we will. Keep in mind that many amazing patents often do not have suitable art for us to work with, and some very beautiful patent art is not necessarily a significant or even very interesting patent. Creating designs from patent drawings has proven to be a fine balance. Please use the form on our Contact Us page to communicate your suggestions, and we’ll definitely see what we can do.
I Have a Question That Isn't Covered in These FAQ's
Please use the form provided on our Contact Us page for any additional questions not covered here. We’ll reply as fast as we possibly can!
Why am I getting Some Unexpected Results When Using the Search Feature?
Our Search feature, located at the top right corner of each page in this site, looks for your entered key word(s) in both the product names, and, the product descriptions, which can sometimes yield some rather interesting results. The background stories behind each patent design which are included with the product descriptions—The Story—are an integral part of what we offer, and because of them, the Search feature has a lot to choose from. We’ve decided that although results may not be exactly as expected, they are certainly interesting enough to leave as is. We hope that, in the spirit of discovery, those “unusual” results may lead to something new that you might not have otherwise known was here.
Where Can I Find PatentWear on Social Media?
All of our Social Media links can be found at the top and bottom of our site. You can Like our PatentWear Facebook Page, and Follow Us on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest for the latest news, specials, and other content we think might be of interest, and if you prefer LinkedIn, we’re there, too! We recommend using the Share buttons provided at the bottom of each product’s description page for best results across the various platforms. There’s even a button for email. Thanks for spreading the word—we very much appreciate every one of our fans and followers!
Online Ordering | My Account
What Happened to My Account?
In April 2016, we launched our brand new, completely re-designed mobile-friendly website. Unfortunately, if you created an account on our previous website prior to April 2016, that account has vaporized into the ether of cyberspace (though we do still have in-house records of all customer orders). In the spirit of an all-around fresh start, you would simply need to create a new account at the link, My Account found in the top menu bar of every page. We feel that the benefits of a fresh, clean, and modern mobile-friendly design will ultimately be worth the small inconvenience of starting over, and hope you will agree. (Thanks for your understanding—and for staying with us during this changeover!).
I Forgot My Password, How Can I Sign In To My Account?
Go to the My Account page link found in the heading of every page on this site, and then click on the link “Password forgotten? Click here.” which is found just above the Sign In button, under Returning Customer. A new auto-generated password will be sent to your email address within minutes (be sure your SPAM filter allows email from firstname.lastname@example.org). You can use it to sign into your account, and then change your password to something else more memorable if you wish. PatentWear has no access to your password, whether it was chosen and set by you or auto-generated.
What Forms of Payment Do You Accept and Are They Secure?
We now accept a full complement of credit/debit cards from both domestic (USA) and international customers, including VISA, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, JCB, and Diners Club through our secure payment gateway, Stripe (more info, below). You may also use PayPal, which may permit other payment options—even without a PayPal account. We do not accept checks, money orders, or direct bank transfers at this time. All credit/debit card transactions must be authorized before your order can be shipped. Please be sure that your billing address matches your bank’s records—this is most often the reason a credit card might be declined through our system. You will receive a notice from us at the email address you provide if there are any problems with your payment choice. Please be sure that your SPAM filtering system will allow emails from email@example.com.
Rest assured that you may shop securely and with confidence online at PatentWear.com. We have partnered with Stripe, a leading payment gateway, to accept credit/debit card payments safely and with utmost security for our customers. None of our customers’ credit card information is ever stored (or seen) by us. The gateway adheres to strict industry standards for payment processing, including: 128-bit Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology for secure Internet Protocol (IP) transactions, industry-leading encryption hardware and software methods and security protocols to protect customer information, and, compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).
For more information, please review our Privacy page.
Do You Collect Sales Tax?
Currently, sales tax is only collected on orders shipped to California and North Carolina addresses. We are located in California, and our printing/fulfillment partner is located in both California and North Carolina; thus, sales tax may be automatically collected for shipping addresses in either of those USA states.
Do You Accept Mail or Phone Orders?
Because we have established PatentWear as an online store, we prefer to receive all orders via our online Shopping Cart. If you have a special need that cannot be addressed through our online shopping system, please communicate directly via the form provided on our Contact Us page, and we will make every attempt to accommodate. Email is the fastest and most efficient way to communicate with us, though other contact information is also listed on our Contact Us page.
Do You Offer Gift Certificates or Gift Cards?
Yes, we offer virtual “electronic” gift cards that are only emailed and not shipped by any other way. They are listed as Gift E-Cards under Browse Our Themes—the left-hand sidebar on most pages—and on the main Shop page in a separate category. PatentWear Gift E-Cards do not expire.
PatentWear Gift E-Cards may be purchased for any dollar amount you choose, no minimums. They can be sent on to any valid e-mail address once processed and received at the email address provided during order check-out, and may be redeemed during the online ordering process at check-out by entering the redemption code sent when the Gift E-Card was purchased. (Please note: Gift E-Cards may not be purchased with any discount coupon codes). When a Gift E-Card is purchased, a second email (separate from the order confirmation email) containing a unique Gift E-Card code will be sent to the email address associated with the order. NOTE: Please be sure any SPAM filters allow emails from firstname.lastname@example.org. The Gift E-Card email may then be forwarded to any recipient you choose, or, the code can be applied to another order of your own if you prefer. If you don’t know a recipient’s email address, you can print the Gift E-Card email you receive from PatentWear, and give it to the person yourself, however you wish (perhaps wrapped in one of our handy tote bags?!).
A Gift E-Card recipient must create (or already have) an account with PatentWear in order to apply the gift certificate amount to an order. The Gift E-Card amount purchased will be applied to the order for which the redemption code is entered during the check-out process. Only one Gift E-Card code can be redeemed per order: please plan accordingly. If the full value of the Gift E-Card is not used for an order, the remaining amount can be applied to a subsequent order once the redemption code is initially processed at our end.
If an order amount (including any shipping charges or sales tax if applicable) exceeds the value of the Gift E-Card code entered for redemption, other payment information will be required to cover the order balance. We acceptVISA, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, JCB, and Diners Club through our secure payment gateway, Stripe (more info, below). You may also use PayPal, which may permit other payment options—even without a PayPal account. We also accept payment through PayPal.
Gift E-Cards may only be redeemed for online orders with PatentWear, and cannot be redeemed for cash or debit/credit card refunds. Gift E-Cards are only sent from email@example.com to the e-mail address associated with the order, and are currently unavailable for delivery to addresses via postal or other delivery services.
Please send any further questions you may have about PatentWear Gift E-cards to us directly via the form on our Contact Us page.
Are There Any Discounts Available?
We do offer occasional discounts through various promotional specials. Specials will be indicated with the affected products, are promoted on our Home page, and through our occasional newsletter—please be sure to sign up to receive it (you may opt out at any time, and, we do not (and will not) ever share, sell, or trade your info with other marketers). You can also Like our PatentWear Facebook Page, and Follow Us on Twitter and Instagram for the latest news of any special offerings.
Sizing Information, Where Can I Find It?
We have provided sizing and product information for each type of apparel product, located in a “tab” (next to The Story tab) on every product’s description page below the product image and description. Please Contact Us if you have a sizing question that isn’t answered in the information provided, or, if you have a special sizing need that isn’t covered in our standard size options listed.
Do You Offer Any Wholesale Pricing?
Yes, we do. Retailers interested in wholesale information should contact us via the form on our Contact Us page. Please be sure to include your contact information (email, phone, address) and the name of the store for which you would be purchasing PatentWear products. We are even able to provide namedrops on select designs and products. Just ask us!
How Can I Change or Cancel an Order I Have Already Submitted?
We process orders almost as soon as they are received so that our customers can receive their shipments in the shortest time possible. Each of our products is specifically made-to-order, and if the process has already begun, we cannot change or cancel your order. If your order has not already entered the processing system, we will make every effort to assist with your change or cancellation request, but please keep in mind that processing usually begins very quickly after your order has been placed.
Please contact Customer Support as soon as possible with your request via the form on our Contact Us page, and include helpful details such as order number (found on the Order Confirmation e-mail you should have received) and the account name under which the order was placed.
If we were unable to change or cancel your order before processing began, you may return your purchase once it is received for a full credit or refund excluding shipping charges, per our return policy found on the Shipping & Returns page.
Shipping, Returns, Exchanges, Refunds
Where Can I Find Answers to Questions About Your Shipping, Returns, Exchanges, and/or Refunds Policy?
We have provided a Returns and Exchanges Form available to download for your convenience. You can type directly into this handy downloadable and fillable-form PDF version and then print it (requires the free download Adobe Reader software), or, print a blank copy and manually fill in the necessary information. Be sure to then enclose your completed form with your insured and/or trackable return. Please also BE SURE YOU HAVE READ OUR RETURNS POLICY (found at the Returns and Exchanges section of our Shipping & Returns page) before sending us any returns!
How Long Will it Take to Receive My Order
Because our products are only made-to-order when your order is received, we do not usually offer rush or express services. However, our new printing partner will bump your order to the head of the fulfillment queue if you have chosen an Expedited Shipping option at check-out, saving some time at the processing end as well as delivery time (at an increased cost, of course!). Please plan accordingly, and allow 2-5 business days from the time we receive your order for standard processing, plus shipping time added on to that. Shipments to APO/FPO addresses may take longer, depending upon ultimate destination. Please see our Shipping & Returns page for more specific information.
The entire team at PatentWear works hard to provide reliable and accurate information about these products and the background histories of our original designs. However, we humans behind the scenes have been known to make mistakes on occasion. We reserve the right to correct any errors, and appreciate feedback that allows us to consider any necessary corrections. We make every effort to present our products and designs as accurately as possible, but cannot take responsibility for variations in device screen resolutions, or your browser’s specific settings for handling color as compared to our actual printed garments. Our garment colors are industry standards. Some slight variations in our printed designs may occur. We believe those variations create some of the charm of our unique PatentWear designs derived from vintage patents, and hope you’ll agree.
Copyright and Trademarks
All content on the PatentWear website including product artwork and designs, images, graphics, and text is owned, controlled, or licensed to PatentWear or other third parties and is subject to all applicable copyright and trademark laws. Designated trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners, and any mention during the course of relating a patent’ history is considered nominative fair use. No rights to any patent or trademark are implied or for sale. Please Contact Us if you have any specific questions or concerns.