Can I Trademark a Shoe Design?
No. But you can trademark your shoe’s branding.
Because the design of the clothing, including shoes, is generally considered a blueprint for the functional part of the product, it cannot be trademarked. However, if you are developing a new shoe line, you can definitely trademark the name, logo, and slogan since you’ll be using those marks to brand your clothing. A picture of the shoe, if used prominently in the logo, can be trademarked as well. In the shoe industry, registering trademarks for your products is extremely important, as counterfeiters are all over the place and many other up and coming brands would love to capitalize on the success of your shoe designs—especially if they are unique.
In certain circumstances, you may able to trademark the trade dress, or highly distinctive features of your shoe designs that have no functional purpose. However, for trade dress protection, the public must easily be able to use those details to determine that the shoes belong to your company. Alternatively, design patents cover the same distinctive non-functional parts, but are time limited and follow a strict filing schedule in order to ensure protection. They’re also a lot more expensive to obtain on average.
If you are developing a new shoe company and you are interested in protecting your brand, contact us today to speak with trademark attorney Eric Norton to discuss the importance of a comprehensive trademark clearance search, how we can protect your intellectual property by trademarking your shoe line’s name, logo, and slogan, and how we may be able to trademark the unique features of your shoe designs.