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Novel Idea: Trade Dress Protection For Websites

Fri, 26 Jan 2007 17:15:00 EST

It's interesting that such protection hasn't been sought for before now. It isn't hard to see why some internet businesses would consider their website their "total image and overall appearance." Furthermore, since websites are composed of "features such as size, shape, color or color combinations, texture, graphics, or even particular sales techniques" it's not unreasonable, if unprecedented, that a website could potentially be considered a trade dress. In Blue Nile, Inc. v. Ice.com, Inc., No. 06-1002RSL, 2007 WL 172613 (W.D. Wash.), just such a case was settled.

"[P]laintiff seeks protection for the 'look and feel' of its website under the Lanham Act. This is a novel legal theory as evidenced by plaintiff's resort to two unpublished district court cases to support its trade dress claim and the Court's survey of recent scholarship regarding protection for the 'look and feel' of websites."

Read more at Seattle Trademark Lawyer

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