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.
To read more about trademark registration generally, check out my article HERE. For more information about branding, subscribe to the BRAND INNOVATION BLOG.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact attorney Eric Eagle Hartmans at (310) 954-8512 or email@example.com.