In fashion, your company’s name or logo is generally its most valuable asset. In order to profit from your fashion brand name or logo (via sale or licensing), you must own it by “trademarking” it with the United States Trademark and Patent Office.
A trademark (or servicemark) is a word or slogan that distinguish the source, origin a sponsorship of a good (trademark) or service (servicemark).
Unfortunately, many young fashion companies fail to trademark their name or logo. Then, after substantial money has been invested in promotions, public relations and collateral such as hangtags, business cards, invoices and signage, the company learns an expensive lesson: their “name” is already taken or blocked.
So what should your Fashion Company do?
1. Conduct a search to see if your desired mark is taken.
2. If the mark is available, file a trademark application with the Trademark Office.
3. Respond to any "Office Actions," or questions from the examining trademark attorney.
4. Assuming there are no objections from the trademark office or another trademark holder, your mark will register. Currently, this takes 9 to 14 months, but can vary greatly application to application.
Don't forget, any time you claim rights in a mark, you can use a "TM" (trademark) or "SM" (service mark) designation to alert the public to your claim, regardless of whether you have filed an application with the USPTO. This will give you some protection against infringement by putting others on notice of your rights, hopefully deterring counterfeits.