If I can’t copy the name, might I imitate the ‘look and feel’?

Trademark Imitation Trademark Law Intellectual Property

If I can’t copy the name, might I imitate the ‘look and feel’?

The trademark laws may protect distinctive elements of design, decorative or non-functional aspects of a business under the concept of “trade dress”. The United States Supreme Court has dealt with this issue on several occasions. Protection is indeed available but the protectable trade dress must be “nonfunctional” and must have achieved “secondary meaning.” These concepts are often difficult to apply, which is why advice from a trademark lawyer on the particular facts you have in mind is so important.

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