What Is Trade Dress?

Trade dress is a legal term that refers to the overall appearance and packaging of a product or service. Trade dress can include elements such as the shape and design of the product or its packaging, the color and layout of the packaging, and other distinctive visual elements that are used to identify and distinguish the product or service in the marketplace.

Trade dress can be protected under trademark law if it is distinctive and nonfunctional, and if it serves to identify the source of the product or service. In order to be protected, trade dress must be able to be identified by consumers as an indicator of the source of the product or service, and it must not be functional or necessary for the product or service to function properly.

Trade dress protection can be an important tool for businesses to protect the visual identity of their products and services, and to prevent competitors from using similar trade dress in the marketplace. Trade dress protection can be obtained through registration with a national or international trademark office, or it may be acquired through use and consumer recognition in the marketplace.

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