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Frequently Asked Questions

How does trade dress relate to the overall image or appearance of a product or service?

Trade dress is a crucial aspect of a product or service's overall image or appearance. It encompasses all elements that contribute to the product or service's distinctive presentation, including color, shape, size, configuration, and packaging. Trade dress, a type of intellectual property, can also extend to decor, architecture, or any other feature that enhances the product or service's distinctiveness. The concept of trade dress is rooted in the promotional aspects of a product or service, focusing on its image rather than its functionality. For instance, the unique shape of a Coca-Cola bottle, which is instantly recognizable, is an example of trade dress as it doesn't serve a functional purpose but rather promotes the product. Trade dress is protected under trademark law, specifically the Lanham (Trademark) Act, which applies to both registered and unregistered marks. The law does not differentiate between a trademark based on a word (like a brand or product name) and a trademark based on a visual element (trade dress).
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