Laws of Trademark Protection
In this lesson you will learn all about U.S. trademark law as it pertains to fashion, beginning with what is a trademark. Our fashion lawyer expert will discuss: what is protected under trademark law, how to register your trademark and the benefits of doing so. You will also learn what to do if someone infringes on your trademark and the damages that you can seek under the law. This lesson is a must for all designers.
|1||What is a Trademark?|
|2||Do You to Register Your Trademark?|
|3||What are the Benefits of Trademark Registration?|
|4||How Do You Register a Trademark?|
|5||Can Someone Else Use Your Trademark?|
|6||What happens if Someone Else Uses Your Trademark?|
MODULE 1 • What is a Trademark?
|Hi, my name is Shirin Movahed, and today’s lesson is on the Law’s of Trademark. So, what is a trademark? Well a trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, or design, or a combination of words, phrases, symbols, or designs, that identifies and distinguishes the sources of the goods of one party from those of others. It can be a brand name, a logo, or an original design.
Well what is protected under the law? In its simplest terms, Trademark Law protects against people trying to confuse customers into thinking they’re buying something that they’re really not. Trademark Law is not about prohibiting copied designs. It’s about prohibiting copied labels, that mislead consumers into believing that a copied design is an original. Counterfeits and fake labels are absolutely prohibited by law. Now this doesn’t provide any protection for the same fashion design when the infringer omits the label. People will go to a fashion show and just sketch it and by the end of the day, print it out and ship it out onto the Internet to another country to make a copy of it. So once a clothing design gets so well known that consumers associate that design only with that single designer that makes it, a design itself can actually receive trademark protection as well. That protection will prohibit anyone from copying the design directly. It will also allow the trademark holder to seize and destroy counterfeit direct copies of the product that might be brought into the country. However, clothing designs generally only gain trademark protection in the long-term. That is, after widespread sale and advertising. This is a very difficult hurdle for clothing designers to surmount, particularly because by the time the design is eligible for trademark protection, it may already be out of style. For example, the infamous Birkin Bag, has received trademark protection on the design of the bag. That’s rare in this industry. The name of your clothing line, if you have one, would be most likely protected by its Trademark Law. However, it’s necessary to have comprehensive research on the mark done prior to the filing to ensure that there’s no possibility of infringing on anyone else’s trademark.
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