Unlike Trademarks or Copyrights, the registration of Trade Dress does not include the added right to litigate. In fact, if a particular Trade Dress is distinctive and functional, the owner of the Trade Dress can turn to a court to help protect the design and any rights associated. This means registration can be more expensive then worthwhile. However, having the registration may still be important and helpful, with different remedies available based on the registration.
It is important to remember the breadth of Trade Dress protection, which can include everything from sounds, to written works, and catchphrases. This can be an overlooked form of protection as the other forms of intellectual property are more commonly known. Given the breadth and different types of Trade Dress protection available, there is plenty of reason to investigate and create a Trade Dress for a new business. Speak with your local attorney to get an idea of what the standards mean, as Trade Dress can be the most cost effective way to protect parts of your business.