Trade dress, or the look and feel of a product or service, includes packaging and other elements of design, for example, the décor of a retail store or restaurant. Just as a business’s trademark can be infringed upon, or its overall brand can be diluted by counterfeit products, its trade dress can be copied to a degree that negatively impacts consumer opinion of that business.
To be enforceable under U.S. trademark laws, trade dress must have “secondary meaning” in the consumer marketplace; that is, people must easily associate a look with the company that produces it. This is traditionally achieved through marketing and advertising that shows a company’s trade dress in connection with other trademarked items, such as name, logo, and tagline. Trade dress must also be non-functional, i.e. inessential to the product’s use or purpose.
Bilicki Law attorneys can work with you throughout the design process to ensure that your trade dress is distinctive, and assist you in protecting your designs through trade dress registration. That way, if you ever discover a competitor’s product with packaging that closely mimics yours, providing the court with burden of proof will be that much easier, and your case will have a much higher chance of success.
Contact Our Trademark Team
Since 1993, Bilicki Law has assisted clients in the biotech, LED lighting, and manufacturing industries, as well as many others, with safeguarding their inventions, as well as the packaging that helps promote and sell them to the world. Call our Jamestown office at 800-392-6852, or contact us online to schedule a consultation.