Register a 3D trade mark

Trademark attorneys are increasingly advising registration of 3D trade marks. Traditionally, if I designed a new soap dispenser, I would typically:
(i) approach a patent attorney to identify new technical features that may be patented;
(ii) discuss with my patent attorney filing design registrations to protecting the shape of my dispenser; and
(iii) protect the name of my dispenser with a trade mark registration.

However, inventors are now commonly advised additionally to take a photo of their product and to register its shape as a trade mark. In our opinion, this is futile. 99.9% of the time this trade mark registration will be useless. Sure, Coke protected the shape of its bottle by way of a trade mark registration, but that is because whenever one sees a drawing of a Coke bottle, they immediately think of Coke – the shape has, over a long time and after much advertising, become a “badge of origin”. But, this will likely not happen to 99.9% of products.

Our advice is don’t waste your money on 3D trade mark registrations. Rather rely on the form of protection that is specifically meant to protect shapes – design registrations.

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