How do I protect my clothing brand?

You want to start your own clothing brand and you are looking for a way to protect yourself against potential copycats? First of all you have to register your own brand name. In this way, you are the only one who may use this brand name in a predefined region (e.g. Benelux). How do you register a clothing brand? How do you protect your own clothing line? This article will clearly tell you everything you need to know.

Is my brand name unique?

First you have to verify if your new brand name is still available for use. This can be done by surfing the internet, especially on ‘Merkenregister’ of the BBIE (Benelux-Bureau voor de intellectuele Eigendom). There you can find all the registered brand names in the Benelux. If your name is already listed we have to disappoint you because then your name is used by someone else. Now you have to search for a new original name.

How do you register a clothing brand?

The region in which you will protect your clothing brand is the most important factor. Is the Benelux big enough for you? Then you can apply on the website of the BBIE. Do you prefer protection across Europe? Then you have to register your brand on the website of EUIPO (European Intellectual Property Office). You finally can register your brand on the website of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization).

How much does it cost to register a clothing brand?

Benelux
The cost price depends on the duration and the region. Your clothing line is automatically protected for 10 years (renewable) in the Benelux. This standard registration costs €240 and takes approximately 3 months.
European Union
European protection of your clothing brand starts at €850 and depends on different levels in which you want to register your brand. By the European registration you also can get some advice from experts so your request can correctly be done.
World
Worldwide protection of your clothing brand can be made from €17.000. You can also apply for a specific area. It’s recommended to consult an expert when you want worldwide protection.

How do I protect my designs?

Trademark registration also includes the protection of your logo. If your brand name or logo is the most important designs, it’s also protected. The other designs are protected by copyright. You have to keep in mind that small changes of the design can be used to avoid the protection.

Niels Vandecasteele
Niels Vandecasteele
Co-founder Merchandise Essentials, passion for high quality products and even better quality service.
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