(Federally Registered Product Configuration Trade Dress)
The founder of the Weber-Stephens Products developed its iconic kettle shaped grill design in his garage and began selling the distinctive grill. Through his hard work and effort the WEBER grill became well recognized by U.S. consumers. Although patent protection was not sought within the one year statutory time period, the customer recognition of the distinctive kettle grill shape allowed for federal trademark protection. U.S. Registration Nos. 1,478,530; 1,481,520; 1,481,521 and 1,479,505 were obtained. When a Thailand manufacturer, Margaret Worldwide Merchandize Corp., began importing cheaply made knock –off grills into the U.S. with the registered kettle grill shape, Weber-Stephens products filed suit. (N.D. Ill., 90-CV-4732). The case settled after the officer of the Thailand company was arrested by U.S. Marshalls at an annual McCormick Place trade show offering its infringing grills.