What type of legal action do I need to take with trademarking a clothing line?

Asked on June 11, 2014 under Business Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

To trademark any product,

1) The trademark must meet the criteria or standards for being trademarked which (to oversimplify) means that the proposed mark (your logo, brandname, symbol, etc.) is not being used by anyone else, is not similar to another trademark, and is not either generic or descriptive (for example: you can't trademark "cotton shirts" as the name for a line of cotton shirts, since that "name" is just a generic description; trademarks must be distinctive and non-descriptive).

2) The trademark must be actually used in commerce--you have to be selling, distributing, etc. items bearing the mark. You can apply for a trademark slightly in advance of selling, etc. the items, but you have to start selling them within around 6 months of the application.

You can find information and instructions for filing a trademark application at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) website, but are advised to retain an intellectual property attorney to help you.

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