Amicus Brief

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Samara Brothers, Inc.

Published: January 1, 2000


U.S. Supreme Court

Our Position

For purposes of Lanham Act trade dress protection, nonfunctional aspects of a product’s design may be an inherently distinctive trade dress that is protectable without secondary meaning. The differing perceptions consumers attach to a product’s appearance, as opposed to packages and labels, should be considered.


The Court held that a product design can never be inherently distinctive, and therefore protectable, in an action for infringement of unregistered trade dress. The Court concurred with INTA that a different standard should be applied to products as opposed to packaging and designs.