Trade dress is a frequently misunderstood area of IP law. The law gives you the right, under appropriate circumstances, to protect the design, look and feel of your products.
Trade dress can be protected under federal trademark law if it’s distinctive and non-functional (so as not to conflict with patent laws). Trade dress, even without a brand name-think about the Nike Swoosh-helps to identify the source of goods.
A good example of trade dress is the shape of a bottle: even without the label, consumers understand that a bottle with that distinctive shape or color contains a familiar product. Pattishall protected the famous packaging of Mountain Dew, resolving a dispute with the producer of a soft drink sold in green and red cans bearing the name of the beverage in a design similar to the Mountain Dew logo.
We’ve protected trade dress for our clients in a variety of industries. On behalf of a major tool manufacturer, Pattishall obtained judgment in a trade dress infringement and dilution action against a competitor’s sale of a line of power tools that used an infringing trade dress.