Can i trademark my tshirts [You Asked]

Last updated : Sept 5, 2022
Written by : Elenor Rabideau
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Can i trademark my tshirts

Can you trademark Tshirt designs?

The most effective way to protect an image or design on a t-shirt or other article of clothing is to file a copyright registration with the U.S. Copyright Office. Copyright protection is strong protection for a reasonable cost.

Do I need to trademark my Tshirt business?

You should copyright your t-shirt designs and trademark your brand name and logo to protect them legally. But don't stress about copyright and trademark too early– legal protection is not necessary to start your t-shirt business, but is recommended if the funds are available. It's definitely necessary as you progress.

How much does it cost to trademark a shirt?

The cost to trademark a logo with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is $275–$660 as of June 2020, plus legal fees. You can register a trademark with your state for $50-$150, but federal registration offers a great deal more legal protection.

Do you trademark or copyright a Tshirt design?

If you have a hot new T-shirt design and want to legally protect it, you need to license it by copyrighting. Copyrighting your design will prevent others from using and profiting from your concept.

What can I legally put on a shirt?

This is a very sweeping question and the answer will depend on the specific circumstances. But for a safe answer: you can print anything on a t-shirt that is under public domain without infringing copyright laws.

How do I protect my t-shirt slogan?

In order to register your T-shirt design, you will need to file Form VA (which stands for visual arts) and pay a fee. Forms are available from the website. You will also need to include two copies of the logo that you will be registering.

How do I protect my t-shirt designs?

To achieve a copyright for a t-shirt design, an application and fee will need to be submitted to the copyright office. This can be done electronically or through mail.

Can I put my logo on a Nike shirt?

No, you may not lawfully affix your company logo to a tee shirt that's already branded by Nike or another sports clothing company and then sell that shirt. That's trademark infringement.

How long does a trademark last?

A federal trademark lasts 10 years from the date of registration, with 10-year renewal terms. Between the fifth and sixth year after the registration date, the registrant must file an affidavit to state that the mark is still in use.

How do I protect my clothing brand name?

You can protect your Clothing Brand by filing a trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Trademark registration comes with exclusive legal protections for your brand, including your brand name, logo, and catchphrase.

What is the cheapest way to trademark?

The basic cost to trademark a business name ranges from $225 to $600 per trademark class. This is the cost to submit your trademark application to the USPTO. The easiest and least expensive way to register your trademark is online, through the USPTO's Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS).

What is needed to start a Tshirt company?

  • Choose a niche.
  • Source quality material and t-shirt printing options.
  • Create your own t-shirt designs.
  • Mock up your t-shirts.
  • Validate your designs.
  • Set up your online store.

Can you copyright words on a shirt?

Words and logos on T-shirts can be protected with the USPTO, but the overall design of the T-shirt is actually protected by copyright law. As soon as the T-shirt is fixed in a tangible medium, any creative and original aspects of the shirt are protected by copyright law.

How profitable is the t-shirt business?

As of 2020, the custom t-shirt industry was valued at a whopping $3.64 billion, according to Grand View Research. And experts predict a compound annual growth rate of 9.7% through 2028. To put it simply, there is a lot of money in the garment customization biz.

How do I stop people stealing my designs?

Watermarks – Watermarks are a good deterrent and can prevent people from stealing your images. Designers typically do not like changing the look of their designs with watermarks, but many feel they are the best deterrent to theft. Some resort to a small signature and website logo on the bottom of the design as well.

Can I put a logo on a shirt for personal use?

In fact, copyright and trademark violations can in some cases lead to criminal charges. Selling shirts with copyrighted images isn't impossible, but you should never use someone else's logos on your T-shirts or other clothing without their explicit permission.

Can I use a brand name on a shirt?

Your clothing line must be unique with an original name, slogan, and logo in order to qualify for trademark protection. Generic or descriptive names won't cut it. Once you've chosen a name for your clothing line, that trademark becomes the element distinguishing your line from your competitors'.

Can I put Nike on a shirt and sell it?

If this is a personal and entirely non-commercial use, then it's just fine. It is not even trademark use in this case. But if you are selling the same, it becomes infringement. many people mark their sports team shirts and jerseys for example.

What are the three types of trademarks?

What you'll learn: Arbitrary and Fanciful Trademarks. Suggestive Trademarks. Descriptive Trademarks.

Can you lose a trademark if you don't protect it?

If you don't enforce your trademark, you risk losing reputation, business, sales, customers, and more to the infringer. There's also a concept in trademark law called abandonment. Generally, if you don't use your mark for three years or more, it's considered abandoned.

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Can i trademark my tshirts

Comment by Armando Lopaz

so you come up with an awesome phrase that would be perfect for a mug a t-shirt a card or hat can you run down to the trademark office and file a trademark for that phrase that's exactly what we're going to cover in this week's episode of a skit hi I'm Tiffany Staley founder of the artist JD a place designed to add ease to the legalese of running your creative business this week's question comes to us from Jennifer in Florida she asks can a trademark a t-shirt design so we know that short phrases don't get copyright protection but we hear about all the time in the news people running to the trademark office and filing trademarks for phrases that appear on hats or t-shirts so can you do that and is it a smart thing to do before we get into that let's remember why trademarks exist trademarks exist for consumer confusion so that consumers know when they see a specific phrase that they know who's providing them that product or service so when I go to Old Navy I know that Old Navy is selling me the clothes because there's the big signage in front of the store the receipt says Old Navy the staff is walking around with Old Navy tags on their shirts that shown in tags on the clothing say Old Navy and the Hang tags say Old Navy yes there are Old Navy shirts and other pieces of clothing that say Old Navy on the front of them but just because it says Old Navy doesn't necessarily mean that I know that Old Navy is selling me that clothing now Old Navy's probably a bad example when it comes to something on the front of the shirt because it is a very well-known brand but if Old Navy and anthropology were both selling shirts that say Love Wins on the front I wouldn't assume that Love Wins is the company that's selling me the clothing I would look inside the shirt and look at the sewn in tag to figure out who the maker of the shirt was so the same exact thing applies here so if you come up with a great phrase yes you can run down to the trademark office and file a trademark application for it there's nothing that's gonna prevent you from doing that the USPTO will gladly take your money the problem is gonna arise as you go through the process of getting the trademark filing the application doesn't mean you have the trademark you still have to go through the review process and there are two parts of the review process that you might get hung up the first part is if you've already got the t-shirts and as part of your application you submit a photograph of the front of the t-shirt to say USPTO this is how I'm using the t-shirt to sell my product or service the USPTO is going to issue what's called an office action to say we don't necessarily agree with that and because that's because of the exact reason we talked about before if I see a Love Wins shirt I'm not gonna think that Love Wins is selling me the shirt I'm gonna look inside and look at that tag that Sonnen tag or that printed on tag to figure out who is making this shirt so the USPTO is going to issue an office action and say we need to see something else that proves either you know show us the sewn in tag show us the Hang tag show us your ecommerce store with this phrase as the company that's selling t-shirts show us some other proof that was created by the date that you've submitted the application in order to get your trademark so that's the first place you may run into problems the second place you may run into problems is if you file your application and you say I'm not using it yet if you file it on what's called an intent to use basis you'll make it further through the application process and once you at the end of the application process in order for your trademark to become official again you're gonna have to submit that proof and once again when you submit a photograph of the front of your t-shirt the USPTO is going to say nope sorry that doesn't cut us show us some other proof that was available on the date you said it's now available that proves that you're using it in a way that consumers are going to identify you as the seller of the t-shirt so the short version putting something on the front of a t-shirt yep you'll be able to file that application but you're not going to be able to get the registered trademark just by putting a phrase on the front of t-shirts mugs cards hats and the like instead you'll have to take it another level and make sure that your ecommerce store that the Hang tags that the Sonnen tags that the printed on tags all identify that same phrase as the person who's providing those shirts to consumers ask if we'll be back after the Thanksgiving holidays and we'll be talking about how you're going to use all of that feedback and testimonials that's amazing that you're getting from your clients and customers over this holiday season next year to sell more products got a question you want me to cover in an upcoming episode leave it in the comments below before you go make sure you check out that video above if you've got a phrase that you decide you want to use in this way it's going to talk about where you're gonna have to search to make sure another business isn't already using that phrase and if you haven't hit that subscribe button subscribe so that you can get notified each time a new episode drops thanks so much for tuning in and I'll see you soon

Thanks for your comment Armando Lopaz, have a nice day.
- Elenor Rabideau, Staff Member

Comment by Preston

hey guys welcome back to my channel it's alexis thank you to all 151 of you for subscribing and enjoying my content i really appreciate it um real quick guys before we jump to the video if you find anything at all that i say helpful be sure to leave a like and a comment and just let me know what in the video you found helpful and be sure to share it with any friends or family that you think might gain information and insight from this video also don't hesitate to click the subscribe button we're trying to grow this year so just wanted to say guys thanks so much but today i will be talking about trademarking and copywriting uh which one is best for you um me myself i will be starting a t-shirt business and listing it on sites such as etsy and um shopify uh so i did want to go ahead and just make a video about it in my process as how i plan on getting my business up and running so stay tuned guys all right so first things first two different websites i want to jump out to you guys the first being and the second being um copyright. obviously this one's for copywriting and the previous is for patenting and trademarking so first things first what is the difference between trademarking patenting and copywriting so if you're starting a t-shirt business like myself go ahead and just take patenting out of the equation entirely um this is for actual like inventions um so t-shirts not that but i know a lot of people can get stumped whether they should trademark or copyright their t-shirts and their designs so i wanted to go over that really quickly so trademarking just to kind of spoiler alert it's trademarking that you would want to consider copywriting is more for literary and artistic words such as novels and movies so that doesn't really apply here now trademarking is where things get interesting so trademarking is when you want to trademark a word phrase or design that directly aligns with your business for example when you think of nike you immediately think of the swoosh the little um orange swoosh as well as the phrase just do it and with nike all of those things are trademarked so you cannot use that swoosh and you cannot use the phrase just do it because it is directly aligned with their brand identity and when you think of those phrases you think of nike so they went ahead and trademarked it so just keep that in mind moving forward with t-shirts if you should trademark your t-shirt design or phrase now if you plan on making a whole bunch of different t-shirts it probably wouldn't be best to trademark because the trademark at the end of the day is what directly identifies your good service in this case the t-shirt right so if you're making a whole bunch of random t-shirts that say and have different images of different things none of those directly correlate to your brand and your brand identity now let's take a look at just using an example meg the stallion right megan the stallion she recently trademarked the phrase hot girl summer so let's say meg decided that she wanted to sell t-shirts with the phrase hot girl summer and she wanted to put her logo let's say her logo is her face and name and that is her logo what she would want to do is trademark that logo and trademark the phrase hot girl summer because both are associated with her and her brand right we all know hot girl summer from her song she says it all the time we all associate hot girl summer with megan the cyan right now let's say megan wants to make another t-shirt and it just has the phrase like live your best life or something like that she really wouldn't be able to patent the phrase live your best life because a it might already or i'm sorry not patent but trademark because a it might already be trademarked and b if it's not trademarked nobody really associates the phrase live your best life with megan the stallion right she may have said a few times she may have mentioned it like on social media but when you think of that phrase you don't think of megan the stallion like you do with hot girl summer so hopefully that makes sense that is how i best ex understood what a trademark is and if i should or shouldn't use a trademark for my business so just wanted to decide basis on that but yes so going back you start on this website if you decide that you do want the trademark you would come here you would click on the trademark and the first thing you want to do is search search and make sure that what you want to trademark has not already been trademarked sorry i'm getting lost here guys so uh once you click that button i just indicated it would bring you to this site you would click this button and then you'll have a few different search options so let's say again that we're megan and we want to type in and see if hot girl summer has already been trademarked we would type in hot girl summer press the submit query button and you see that it has been trademarked because we know that megan the stallion actually did trademark the phrase so that is how you would check and see if that phrase has already been trademarked right so just a little helpful tip um so we know that copyright isn't for us we'll go ahead and get rid of that cool now let's say okay we've looked at it we've seen that hot girl summer wasn't taken and we're meg the stallion we're going to go ahead and go back to the main website indicate that yes you want to go ahead and trademark it we would click this link it would bring you to this page you would sign in or log in depending on which one applies to you and you would go through the steps in the motion of trademarking okay before you do so if you've never trademarked something before i do recommend going to the um there's like a basics information before you apply you will see it on the website if you go please keep dropping so if we go and we just clicked um i believe it was this one and yes so it'll ask you if you're a first timer get information before following you would click that link and it would bring you here and then you can scroll through and see just the differences in what you may or may not need why you should trademark do you need an attorney um how you should go about doing the the trademarking uh if drawings and specimens apply how much it should cost everything that you might need to know before submitting because what will happen is once you submit for your trademark if you do something wrong in that application and it is denied you will have to resubmit your application and pay that fee again so it's best to just get it right the first time and get where you need to be so that covers trademarking and your trademarking what you would want to put on your t-shirt right so moving a step ahead for myself um or actually we're meg we're meg today so let's say okay i've picked my what i want to put on my shirt and i know i want to put a logo with some some t-shirts they'll put like the logo on the front of the shirt and then they'll have like um the slogan or the image on the back or they'll have the image on the front and the logo on the front whatever you prefer but let's say you want to do both of those things and we know we want to

Thanks Preston your participation is very much appreciated
- Elenor Rabideau

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