Clothing related trademarks frequently run into problems when trying to show the trademark office that they are using their mark on a product. Frequently, trademark applicants will send in pictures of their clothing that show their trademark printed on the clothing itself as the main design.
Applied For Trademark
Use of Trademark on a Product
This use is 100% allowed in the real world - for example, large clothing companies like the GAP or Banana Republic regularly come up with designs that display their company name of the front of shirts they make. However, when showing use of your trademark to the trademark office, the above example would be rejected. The trademark office would say the use is “merely ornamental” and would not approve the application. Basically, the trademark office’s concern is that consumers won’t see JUNKIE TEEZ on the t-shirt as a trademark (the name of a company or brand), but instead will just think of it as artwork.
Avoiding problems is fairly simple by doing one of two things:
1. Sewing in labels (or screen-printing this information) within the clothing product that displays your trademark.
2. Attaching paper “hang tags” to the clothing that displays your trademark.
To protect your clothing trademark in the future, you should adopt one or both of these procedures and make it part of your clothing manufacturing process. ALWAYS sell your clothing with either a label sewn in or a hang tag attached.
What We Need From You To Draft Paperwork Showing Actual Use
To demonstrate actual use to the trademark office, we will need a picture or two of the labels sewn into the product or of the hang tag attached. The photo needs to be clear AND it must show your trademark printed on the label or hang tag. In most cases a camera phone will work great for this.
Here’s an example: