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First Steps in Protecting a Trademark

You are using a trademark; what do you need to do to protect it? You need to file for protection at the state or federal level. But there are several first steps that should be done before you proceed with filing for state or federal protection. Learn more about these first steps in this short video clip.

Categories: Intellectual Property, Trademarks

Does your Design House have a Firm Foundation?

Lansing and Detroit fashion incubator participants have heard me extol the values of forming a business entity. However the topic often comes up in a manner that doesn’t accommodate a detailed discussion of selecting the right business entity. If you have yet to choose the entity that will provide the correct foundation for your fledgling business, or you formed an entity but question your choice, I am pleased to share with you a series of five articles regarding entity selection written by my partner, Joel Farrar. Joel specializes in entity selection, entity formation and taxation. Please take a look at Joel’s first article, Protect Yourself From the Risk of a Sole Proprietorship, and keep an eye on Fosterfashion for the next four articles, which will be published over the course of the next four months.

Categories: Entity Planning

Getting Your Design House in Order

designOn Tuesday, February 16, 2016, The Runway, Lansing’s fashion incubator, kicked off its 2016 Fashion 411 speaker series with the highly energetic duo, Claire and Shawn Buitencorp of Shock & Awww. Foster Swift was proud to be a sponsor of the event, but I did not prompt them to advise attendees to take care of legal matters. I was, of course, pleased to hear that advice coming from this successful duo, along with their advice to know when to rely on others to advance your business and the importance of research. Read More ›

Categories: Entity Planning, Intellectual Property, Trademarks

Labels: A Necessary Pain in the Neck

Garment TagIf you manufacture, import, sell, offer to sell, or distribute garments or textiles for household use, you need to know about labels.  If you don’t know precisely what you must label, or know the necessary content or location of your label, I highly recommend reading Threading Your Way Through the Labeling Requirements Under the Textile and Wool Acts, published by the Federal Trade Commission.  Threading Your Way is a much easier read than the Textile Products Identification Act, 15 U.S.C. § 70 et seq, and offers a lot of “how to” advice to include how to obtain and use a Registered Identification Number (“RIN”). Read More ›

Categories: Distribution, Manufacturing

Lansing, are you ready to roll … into production?

The designers that I have had the pleasure of meeting know that I advocate making the most of the free information that you can find on government websites and the no or low cost services available to start ups – if only you know where to look.  If you are in Lansing, check out LEAP’s new Lansing PROTO.  I am particularly pleased to see help with crowdfunding, which can be such a valuable tool for fashion design.

Categories: Crowdfunding, Fashion, News & Events

Year End Checklist for Businesses and Individuals

1. MEET WITH YOUR TAX ADVISOR

  • There may be last minute planning possibilities for 2015. Consult with your tax advisor while you still have time to act in 2015. Don't assume your CPA, lawyer or financial advisor is going to automatically suggest ways to minimize your tax liability. Be proactive!

2. HAVE YOUR ANNUAL MEETING AND CREATE YOUR ANNUAL MEETING MINUTES

  • It is important to document the activities and decisions at your annual meeting and accompanying meeting minutes. Make sure this happens in 2015.
Read More ›

Categories: Entity Planning, Intellectual Property, Tax

The Runway Celebrates Its First Anniversary!

On October 21, 2015, The Runway, Lansing’s fashion incubator, celebrated its first anniversary and announced its new business model. The new business model includes Lansing Community College cut and sew classes, on site, and new “resource tenants” to include the Michigan Garment Industry Council and Creative Many. I encourage you to see the details of the new business model and the resources it will provide to designers, as reported by the Lansing State Journal. Read More ›

Categories: Fashion, News & Events

How to Improve Product Design Using Trade Dress

WHAT IS TRADE DRESS?

Trade dress consists of the unique, non-functional, elements used to promote a product or service. It may also include features such as size, shape, color, color combinations, textures, graphics, or even particular sales techniques. 

Trade dress is within the family of trademark. It is, however, not as well-known as a trademark because of the changing legal standards to acquire and maintain such beneficial federal protection. A trademark is any word, name, symbol, or device or any combination used to identify and distinguish goods or services from those manufactured or sold by others and to indicate the source of the goods.  

Federal law is violated when someone uses a trademark (or trade dress) of another that creates confusion among customers.  Read More ›

Categories: Fashion, Intellectual Property

Join us at The Runway's One Year Celebration!

The Runway is hosting a one-year celebration on Oct. 21.  At  4:30 p.m., there will be a ribbon-cutting to unveil new programming, you will be able to browse and buy designer products and meet the designers, and at 6:00 p.m. the first ever Fashion Edition of "The Hatching."  Hope to see you on the 21stBe sure to RSVP for the event here.

Categories: Fashion, News & Events

Joe Carr, 3D Printing & Digital Manufacturing

digital manufacturingThe Runway's 411 Speaker Series is bringing in Joe Carr on Wednesday, Sept. 30 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. For those of you who have yet to see a 3D printer at work this will be a great opportunity to experience state of the art technology. For those of you that have some exposure to 3D printing Joe Carr is a wealth of information. He is a 3D printing veteran who helped start one of the world's first 3D printing retail stores.

The event will be held at The Runway and the cost to attend is $10. This is one speaker you will not want to miss. Be sure to register for the event here.

Hope to see you there! -Deanna

Categories: Fashion, Manufacturing, News & Events