After putting an endless amount of time, resources, and work into developing your clothing or retail brand, you must make certain your trademark is safeguarded from misuse by competitors. Your trademarked clothing brand is so much more than the design or slogan that appears on your goods or apparel. It is what defines your brand and gives your customers the confidence that they can rely on the quality of your product.
By registering your trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, you can shield your mark from those who seek to make a profit off the brand you spent years building. Offering comprehensive advice and skillful guidance, the Trademark Lawyer Law Firm, PLLC assists designers, business owners, and entrepreneurs in the clothing and retail industries to ensure their brands — and bottom lines — are adequately protected.
With competition as fierce as it is in the apparel and retail industries, it is crucial to take every step to safeguard your brand. If you fail to do so, another company could potentially use your mark or a similar one, causing your customers to be confused or misled. Without a registered trademark, you only have limited protection and little recourse against an infringer.
There are various aspects of an apparel brand that should be safeguarded to prevent infringement or consumer confusion. At the Trademark Lawyer Firm, we work with entrepreneurs in the clothing and retail industries in registering trademarks to protect the following:
Importantly, there are several different trademark classes that apparel can fall under, and it is essential to file your application under the correct category to avoid delay or denial of your registration. Many clothing goods, such as sweaters, jeans, t-shirts, headgear, dresses, and blazers, will fall under Class 25. However, even if you are filing your clothing brand trademark within Class 25, you might also consider filing under a coordinated class for maximum protection. For instance, Class 18 applies to leather goods, Class 24 covers textiles, and Class 14 for jewelry.
Since various components must be considered, Trademark registering a clothing brand can be complex. The Trademark Lawyer Firm works with designers and clothing brand owners to help them protect and grow their apparel businesses.
Your trademark is your clothing company’s identity and your most valuable asset. In the apparel industry, your unique brand is not only integral to building loyalty among consumers, but it distinguishes your products from those of other clothing companies. We assist entrepreneurs in the clothing industry with creating, growing, and protecting their brands at every stage of business development. Whether you are a designer who is just starting out or already have built a flourishing clothing company from the ground up, we offer a full scope of trademark services and create tailored strategies for your needs.
First, we conduct a thorough registration search to ensure your mark is not already in use by a competitor. If another mark has been registered that could result in denial or delay of your application, we work with you to overcome any potential obstacles you might face in filing your USPTO application. After consulting with you regarding your goals and objectives concerning your brand, our attorneys will diligently prepare your trademark application, striving to successfully register your mark the first time you file.
Once your clothing company trademark has been registered with the USPTO, you have a continued obligation to maintain the integrity of your brand. This means meeting all necessary renewal deadlines and monitoring your mark for any infringement activity. You might also consider taking additional precautions by enrolling your mark with the Amazon Seller Brand Registry if you will be selling on Amazon.
Additionally, filing a Madrid Protocol application can offer protection in the global marketplace if you will be selling your clothing products internationally. Our experienced trademark attorneys provide reliable counsel and trusted advice to ensure your brand is afforded the maximum possible protection, whether you sell your products domestically or in the global marketplace.
The Trademark Lawyer Firm also represents apparel companies in any litigation that can arise surrounding trademark ownership issues. Whether the misuse of your mark was inadvertent or intentional, we work to hold the infringer accountable for their wrongdoing and obtain a favorable outcome for your business.
You worked hard to build your brand and you should have an attorney on your side who will work hard to protect it. Located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the Trademark Lawyer Law Firm, PLLC has decades of experience handling a wide variety of trademark matters in the clothing and retail industries. With more than 5,500 successfully registered trademarks to our name, we are dedicated to working with apparel companies and retail businesses nationwide to help them safeguard their brands and bottom lines. Contact us today to schedule a complimentary 15-minute consultation to learn more about our trademark services and how we can help you achieve your entrepreneurial goals.
Suspensions are when your application is on hold. There are various reasons a trademark application can be suspended. However “likelihood of confusion” with prior application(s) filed and submission of foreign application are the most common reasons the USPTO may suspend an application. During a trademark suspension period, your lawyer will provide guidance on the next steps and whether it might be best to file an argument or pursue a coexistence agreement.
A disclaimer usually refers to a statement which indicates that you are not claiming exclusive rights to use the word(s) or a design element in your trademark application. A disclaimer allows for registration without creating a false impression of the registrant’s rights.
A good example of this is disclaiming “café” if your services are for a café.
If a trademark is not eligible for the Principal Registry, there is sometimes an option to register on the Supplemental Registry.
In cases where the USPTO finds the trademark application is merely ornamental, merely descriptive, or primarily geographically descriptive, the USPTO may allow the application to be registered on the Supplemental Registry. However, over time, the mark may acquire distinctiveness and possibly become eligible for the Principal Registry.
Two dates must be specified in a trademark application:
Date of First Use Anywhere: The “anywhere” refers to use in the U.S. or elsewhere. This is the date the goods were first sold or transported, or the services were first rendered under the mark. The use must also have been bona fide and in the ordinary course of trade.
Date of First Use in Commerce: This is the date when the goods were first sold or transported, or the services were first rendered under the mark in interstate or international commerce. The use of the mark must have been bona fide and in the ordinary course of trade.
The renewal timeframe for a trademark is between the 9th and 10th year anniversary of the trademark registration, and then in ten-year intervals. It is important to be aware that the USPTO also requires a registrant to provide an affidavit at the 5th and 6th years of ownership stating that the trademark is still being used in commerce. Failure to comply with the renewal timeframes or the affidavit requirements will result in the cancellation of the trademark registration.