IP: Trade dress claim for trampoline unceremoniously trampled

Urban Group Exercise v. Dick’s provides would-be trade dress plaintiffs or defendants with a helpful road map

In the recently decided case, Urban Group Exercise Consultants, Ltd. v. Dick’s Sporting Goods, Inc., Urban Group claimed that Dick’s Sporting Goods' sale of its “Jump Trainer” exercise trampoline infringed the former's unregistered trade dress in its “Urban Rebounder” exercise trampoline. Urban Group lost, and the court's decision in the case provides would-be trade dress plaintiffs (or defendants) with a helpful road map for how best to protect (or defend against) an unregistered trade dress claim.

The court began its holding by explaining that a product’s trade dress is defined as the total image of a good, including its design, size, shape, color, texture and graphics. It then explained that courts need to exercise particular caution in extending trade dress protection to product designs, because protecting them raises a potential risk that doing so will hamper efforts to market competitive goods.

Contributing Author

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Scott Slavick

Scott Slavick is a shareholder at Brinks Gilson & Lione, where his practice focuses primarily on trademark prosecution and trademark litigation. Scott maintains all aspects...

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