Protecting intellectual property in the fashion industry requires continual efforts, but begins with the will of the designer; a strong and deliberate claim at the earliest stage of creation will make it easier and more effective to enforce rights in the marketplace.
Much of the fashion fraternity relies on protection afforded by copyright that subsists automatically in artistic works. While copyright law affords adequate protection for aspects such as concept drawings, moulds and sketches, irrespective of artistic quality or craftsmanship, it can be insufficient in and of itself to pursue an effective legal remedy if the final product is sold on a commercial scale. A fault line in the copyright law makes something which is at its inception an artistic work fall outside the scope of copyright protection if it was also registrable as a design but not registered as such and reproduced in excess of 50 times.
Registering intellectual property as trademark, trade dress or design has the potential to provide an additional layer of protection. Permutations of patterns, ornamentation and even material choices may suffice for claiming such protections, and as a best practice must be explored before the design is publicised or hits the shelves.
The Firm advises and represents domestic and international designers, fashion establishments and retailers, and engages proactively with the fashion community to educate it on the simple steps needed to protect intellectual property and enhance brand value and support commercialisation.
With contractual and commercial expertise including advising on employment and commercial contracts to safeguard intellectual property and trade secrets, in conjunction with full legal support in customs law, litigation and enforcement, effective deterrence against counterfeiting and fashion piracy is made a practical reality.