A classic and entertaining movie by Alfred Hitchcock. Grace Kelly is beautiful and of course graceful and that handsome Cary Grant. Can we all get a cat like that or at the very least an honest John Robie, watch the movie to follow my cheeky dialogue. The iconic fifties dresses and style is seared into my memory. Much like the movie, to catch a thief in the fashion world can prove to be near impossible, but with persistence it can happen.
John Robie, named the “Cat” in his burglary days, was being copied and framed. He is finally vindicated when the impersonator is caught. However, in the fashion world when designs are copied not many impersonators are found or for that matter pursued. I speak not for the bigger designers like DVF that are able to go after most of their infringers. I speak of the independent up and coming designers that don’t have the means of constant monitoring of their designs and/or trademarks.
However, there are a few inexpensive ways you can prevent the Cat from stealing your vision:
1) Google Alerts: Set up alerts with Google to stay abreast on your industry. Additionally, these alerts can tell you if other companies have set-up websites using your company name.
2)USPTO: You can check the Trademark Office’s database in order to see what trademarks have been filed. However, if your trademark is registered before the Cat it should be rejected based on the similarity marks and the likelihood of confusion. If your trademark is governed by common-law you can still challenge the validity of the registered trademark if you can prove that your use was of trademark was in the public domain before the infringer.
3) Cease & Desist: If you are unable to retain a full-time attorney, you can still consult with one to draft a cease & desist letter for you. You can definitely draft a cease & desist letter on your own behalf, but perhaps the weight of legal representation may get the matter resolved quicker.
4)Policing E-Commerce Sites: To prevent and limit the sale of counterfeit goods you can check sites like E-Bay, Amazon, Alibaba and Google.
5)Social Networking: Create company’s official website, as well as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Ning accounts to avoid confusion.
With the basic tools in hand you can catch your thief!
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