T-Shirt Design Trademark Registration – Specimen Recommendations and Avoiding Ornamental Refusal
Can You Register a T-Shirt Design as a Trademark? Yes!
People often wish to register t-shirt designs as trademarks to prevent others from selling copies. However, the t-shirt design is insufficient, without more, to function as a trademark and the application may be rejected. Trademark attorneys refer to this as the “ornamental refusal“.
Avoiding an Ornamental Refusal
When considering what a trademark is – it helps the consumer identify the source of goods and/or services – the ornamental refusal makes sense. Consider this dragon t-shirt. Does that dragon indicate the maker of the shirt, or is the dragon just a decoration? You might be thinking, it depends. If you previously saw this design used to advertise a clothing brand, then it may have some meaning to you. Otherwise, it’s just a dragon. That is exactly correct. If the design has been used elsewhere and has acquired “secondary meaning,“ then it can go on a t-shirt and still function as a trademark.
Use in Commerce
The hangtag, properly displaying the trademark, should be used consistently as soon as possible, and evidence should be saved of interstate sales of clothing with the hang-tag. I recommend saving the buyer’s out-of-state contact information.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact attorney Eric Eagle Hartmans at (310) 954-8512 or firstname.lastname@example.org.