A 1964 floral poppy design trademarked by Finnish textile and clothing company Marimekko was the subject of a recent settlement between Marimekko and fashion house Dolce & Gabbana. Why? Dolce & Gabbana allegedly used a similar fabric print in its poppy dress design without Marimekko’s permission.
Unlike patents, trademarks do not expire if they are properly used. That makes them a valuable addition to your marketing arsenal. You can use distinctive words, phrases, or designs to put a picket fence around your marketing platform and keep competitors out. That’s what Marimekko does with its distinctive poppy print. That’s what the hamburger chain McDonald’s does with its Mc prefix for it menu items. That’s what Perrier does with its bottle design.
The law does not require the use of trademarks, but taking advantage of them is a smart way for entrepreneurs to leveraging intellectual property into an asset with licensing potential.
Go here for more information.