Now that you’ve put your blood, sweat, and tears into your new fashion label, you are going to want to ensure that no one can exploit and profit off of all of your hard work. To achieve this, the following information will help you to protect your rights in your fashion label.
PROTECTING YOUR FASHION LABEL
Your label name and/or logo are essential in the development of your brand’s identity. In order to create a strong brand, it is strongly encouraged to select a name that is distinctive and adequately defines your clothing line. You should begin by searching online to ensure that there are no other entities currently already using your desired name or anything confusingly similar. Next, you should conduct a comprehensive trademark search which should include the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) TESS database. If you opt for a logo design, you should ensure that your search also includes the graphic elements of your logo design.
Then, file a trademark application with the USPTO. This process consists of completing the application and paying the filing fees. After you have completed the application process, an examiner will review your application, and if there are no issues with your application, it will proceed to publication in the Trademark Official Gazette (“TMOG”) to give the public notice of your application and an opportunity to oppose or challenge. If there are no public challenges to your trademark application, then your trademark will be registered.
OK. But, How Do I Protect My Designs?
Copyright? Patent? Trademark? A copyright would protect elements such as original prints, patterns, unique color arrangements, and novel combinations of elements used on a design. In the U.S., two types of patents are available, utility patents and design patents. Utility patents cover a new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter. Whereas, design patents are much more common in the fashion industry, since design patents protect the aesthetic features of a useful invention. As a designer, to protect the actual brand name of your fashion label, what you will need is a trademark. But, these other intellectual property protections may protect other aspects of your clothing line.
In sum, intellectual property protection such as trademarks will help you to protect your fashion line from counterfeiters that hope to capitalize off your hard work and your brand’s reputation. But, if you take a proactive approach, you can prevent such theft and safeguard your creative assets.
If you would like to speak with a Cooper Legal attorney about how to protect your assets, schedule your consultation today.
This blawg is provided by the firm for informational purposes only and may not be relied on as legal advice. If you have any questions related to your specific business needs, schedule your legal consultation today.