The design and shape of the materials in which a product is packaged. Product configuration, the design and shape of the product itself, may also be considered a form of trade dress.
The Lanham Act protects trade dress if it serves the same source-identifying function as a trademark. It is possible to register trade dress as a trademark, but for practical reasons most trade dress and product configurations are protected without registration under 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a).
Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary
Various design elements used to promote a product or service. For example, trade dress includes the unique shape of a bottle, the color of a pill, or the decorative elements within a chain restaurant. Trade dress can be protected under trademark law if it is distinctive and a showing can be made that the average consumer would likely be confused as to product origin if another product had a similar appearance.
Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.
August 19, 2010, 5:26 pm