What is 'trade dress'

|| July 24, 2014

Trade dress is the look and feel of a product or service which establishes its identity for the customer.

It is a legal term in the USA and treated as intellectual property, but in the UK there is only common law protection for trade dress of passing off, where one trader tries to make use of the goodwill gained by another in order to sell their products, which is a form of misrepresentation. Brand owners should always register a trademark rather than merely relying on common law.

Trade dress is still a useful term for discussing the look and feel of your brand, though most people now talk about brand touch points.