The courts and state legislatures liberalized trade dress rules from 1980 through 1994 and then made certain areas more stringent after 1994 Prom Dresses 2012. These trends are reflected in exhibit 2, page 64, which shows the number of trade dress cases litigated annually in federal district court and the federal courts of appeals since 1944.
Exhibit 2 shows a surge in cases starting cheap prom dresses the early 1980s, with the number steadily increasing through 1994. Cases declined after 1994 as the legislative rules and court decisions became more restrictive. CPAs need to be aware of these trends because they have a considerable impact on the value of companies' trade dress for financial reporting purposes.
In the early 1980s the courts expanded trade dress protection. They went from protecting product packaging only to also protecting tiffany on sale product's design (shape). This change allowed the distributors of Rubik's cube to protect both the packaging and the appearance of its product in Ideal Toy Corp. v.
Plawner Toy Manufacturer Corp., 685 F2d 78 rd Cir., 1982). Another major expansion occurred Tiffany Sets on Sale 1981 when the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals liberalized the distinctiveness requirement by allowing trade dress to be inherently distinctive. Before this ruling, courts required trade dress to have acquired distinctiveness through secondary meaning before it was entitled to protection.
A golfclub maker may need to plan years of advertising Paloma Picasso Loving Heart bracelet and promotional efforts to prove its club has acquired distinctiveness in consumers' minds.The Fifth Circuit ruling was a major breakthrough because proving inherent distinctiveness might require a company to show only that its trade dress was unique or even unusual.
Establishing acquired distinctiveness requires proof of a major promotional and advertising effort. For example, the manufacturer Paloma Picasso Loving Heart Disc Pendant an iglooshaped dog house was only able to establish that its product had acquired distinctiveness after proving the company had conducted a sevenyear advertising campaign that resulted in the public's associating the shape of the dog house with the company (Dogloo Inc. v. Northern Insurance Co. of New York, 907 F Supp 1383 (1995)).