How to Protect and Trademark Your Clothing Brand

How to Register IP for your Clothing

Your new clothing brand may have a variety of IP to protect. Let’s look at how you should protect and trademark your clothing lines.

Need to protect your clothing brand? Contact US patent and trademark attorney Vic Lin at 949-223-9623 or email to explore how we can register your clothing brand’s trademarks, patents and copyrights.

How to Trademark Your Clothing Brand

Trademarks can be especially tricky to register when it comes to clothing. Trademark protection applies to the names and logos used to sell your clothing articles. But how do you show a trademark on clothing?

Be careful here. Graphic designs on the front or back of a shirt, for example, will often be considered ornamental matter that would not qualify as trademark use. To show usage of a mark on clothing, make sure the mark appears on the tag of the clothing article. For tagless clothing articles, you can have the mark appear on the upper rear section of your shirts or on labels.

Have you not yet sold any clothing items? Consider filing an Intent-To-Use application.

How to Design Patent the Appearance of Clothing

Does your article of clothing have some unique 3-dimensional features? To protect the appearance of an article of clothing with such unique features, consider filing design patents. Keep in mind that design patents do not protect functional features which fall under the domain of utility patents.

Only registered patent attorneys can file both patent applications and trademark applications for your clothing brand. Patent agents cannot file trademark applications. Non-patent lawyers cannot file patents.

How to Copyright Clothing Designs

Copyright registration for clothing designs can be challenging. We have to get a bit abstract, so bear with me. To be copyrightable, the feature you wish to register must be separable from the clothing article itself. For example, a 2-dimensional graphic print may be copyrightable because you can separate that artwork from the clothing article.

Likewise, a three-dimensional feature might be copyrightable if you can separate that part of the clothing from the rest of the article. For example, suppose I were to sell a sweatshirt that included a 3D flower that protruded from the front of the shirt. I might be able to obtain a copyright registration for that 3D feature since it is separable from the clothing article.

Need to patent and trademark your clothing line?

Contact US patent and trademark attorney Vic Lin at (949) 223-9623 or email to explore how we can help protect your clothing brand.

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