if I want to start my own clothing line/brand and will have a name brand and a logo, what are the steps that I need to take to copyright and or patent my ideas?

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if I want to start my own clothing line/brand and will have a name brand and a logo, what are the steps that I need to take to copyright and or patent my ideas?

Asked on July 17, 2016 under Business Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You patent new discoveries or chemical/physical applications, not brand names or logos--e.g. if you develop a new fabric that "breathes" better, you can patent the fabric.
Anything original you create is automatically copyrighted by you, but you can strengthen your hand in the event anyone does violate copyright by filing the copyright with Patent and Trademark Office (PTO)--you can get instructions on the PTO website. Note that copyright is very narrow and only protects the specific/exact original textual or graphic expression: if you come up with the name "Ixcabibble" for your line, using a certain font and color choice for the work, someone else can use the word "Excaliberable" in a similar font and color choice, so that it appears similar, without infringing.
Trademark can be used to protect a logo, slogan, produce/line name, etc. It is broader than copyright in that it provides protection against confusingly similar marks (so marks that are similar but not identical) used for similar products and services. You an only trademark when you are actually using, or are about to, use the logo, etc. in  commerce (e.g. sell products with it). Again, you can find good instructons on the PTO website.


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