Protecting Your 3D Brand: Dual Protection with Design Patent and Trade Dress Protection

Louise Arnott

©2014. Published in Landslide, Vol. 6, No. 4, March/April 2014, by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association or the copyright holder.

Suppose you represent the fashion industry’s newest up and coming couture hair accessories designer. Your client’s oversized designs have been spotted on top of various A-list celebrities’ perfectly coiffed hair and are selling out in stores across the country. They are the hottest new commodity and are simply impossible to get ahold of but very easy to spot, given their bright colors and size. Your client is planning to release a new set of oversized hair bows, and their anticipation has caused quite the stir in the fashion community. But no sketches or information about the oversized hair bows have been released to the public. Your client has begun to notice poor quality, off-trend renditions of couture clothing and accessories showing up in discount stores. Terrified that her hair bows could end up on those shelves, or worse, that another couture designer will steal her design, your client has frantically sought your legal assistance to understand what, if any, are her options.

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