The outdoors and sporting goods industries are key users of the latest high-tech materials such as specialized fabrics, plastics, etc. Manufacturers in the outdoors and sporting goods industry can sometimes unexpectedly find themselves pulled into trademark infringement and counterfeiting lawsuits in America with these large outdoor and sporting goods companies, in connection with these high-tech materials.
Apparel manufacturers are constantly struggling to defend against the costly threat of knock-offs. Currently, protection mechanisms in the United States for apparel include protecting distinctive logos or trade names with trademarks, protecting new and ornamental designs with design patents, and protecting the overall color, look, and packaging of a garment with trade dress. Despite these mechanisms, however, adequate protection against knock-offs is not always possible, and as a result, imposters are common. In light of a new Supreme Court case, though, apparel developers may be able to add one more tool to their arsenal for protecting their designs.