The clothing designers Spirit Clothing Company filed a lawsuit against West Trend for allegedly marketing and selling clothing that contained stitching that was similar to Spirit’s clothing designs.
The California Federal District Court has labeled this case as a trade dress infringement case, although the underlying complaint did not allege trade dress infringement specifically. The court ultimately decided that stitching was part of the total image of the clothing product, and therefore, became sufficient to support trade dress infringement.
What is Trade Dress Infringement?
Trade dress infringement is a form of intellectual property infringement. Furthermore, it is a protection designed to defend consumers from purchasing products that have been wrongly designed to imitate another company’s product. In short, it is to prevent customers from believing they have bought a certain product, when in fact it was another product that they bought. Magazine covers, clothing and a chain of restaurants are a few examples of businesses and products that could be protected under trade dress laws.
The Lanham Act legally protects trade dress, just as it does trademarks. A trade dress, similar to a trademark, can be registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Need a Business Litigation Attorney for an Infringement Lawsuit?
You work hard to develop a good product for your consumers. If someone is taking advantage of your goodwill, then that company infringing on your trademark or trade dress should be punished. An experienced Los Angeles business attorney may be your best bet for defending your company and your unique product designs. Additionally, to help you avoid a costly mistake, if you have not done so already, your attorney can help you file a trademark.
[Did You Know? The Lanham Act, which is the primary trademark statute of law, will celebrate its 70th anniversary next year.]
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