Design patents typically do not offer wide protection for fashion products. While relatively cheap to obtain compared to utility patents, design patents typically still cost several thousand dollars to register. Furthermore, design patents can only be obtained if an item has been on sale for less than a year and fashion designers often do not want to commit to a registration until and unless a design demonstrates that it will be a core product line going forward. Trade dress, on the other hand, does not require any formal filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). However, those seeking trade dress protection must also prove that the design has no functional component, as well as prove that the item conveys a distinctive secondary meaning to consumers that would be jeopardized by the sale of imitations.
July 18, 2017 In Blog, Business, Fashion & Lifestyle, General Counsel, Intellectual Property, Litigation, Media & Technology, Sports & Entertainment