Logos used by fashion brands such as Givenchy, Michael v Kors, D&G, Armani are all trademarks protected by law. The company can sue a person(natural or legal) that imitates such trademarks or passes it off as theirs. In 2008, Christian Louboutin acquired trademark rights in the United States over the bright-red lacquered sole featured in much of the footwear he produces. In 2011, when French fashion house Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) released its monochrome footwear collection in a range of colours, including red, Louboutin filed a lawsuit against YSL claiming infringement of his so-called red-sole trademark.
In recent years, intellectual property (IP) rights have played a pivotal role in the growth of the highly competitive global fashion industry, which generates more than USD 2 trillion per year.
Below are few facts you should know about Fashion Law
- the law protects the sketches and drawings of a fashion designer or illustrator through the instrument of Intellectual property known as Copyright. A fashion designer/illustrator can sue anyone who steals or imitates the design and uses it to reproduce a cloth if he/she can prove that the design or sketch is his/hers, provided it has been put down(sketched or drawn).
- Fashion design piracy involves the unauthorized copying of original fashion designs. And generally it falls into one of the two following categories:
(1) Knockoffs: A knockoff is a close copy of the original fashion design, mimicking its elements, but is sold under a label different from the label of the original design. Thus, it is not sold in an attempt to pass as the original.
(2) Counterfeits: A counterfeit is a copy of the original fashion design as well as brand logo or label of that design. Counterfeit apparel is sold as an attempt to pass off as the original product. Counterfeits may also involve piracy in fashion design besides piracy in logo or label of fashion brand.
There are legislations that protect against such. For example, in India, The Sketch Design can be registered as artistic work under the Copyright Act 1957; Logo Designs can be protected under the Trademarks Act, 1999 where the logo is part of the design. For instance, Louis Vuitton handbag covered with a repeating pattern of the brand’s well-known LV mark.
- The law provides protection for well-known marks in order to prevent malicious people to benefit from their work, even if it has not been registered yet, however, it has gained popularity due to usage over a long period of time.
- Fashion Law protects fashion brands through the registration of trademarks to prevent passing off and economic loss on the part of the business owners.
- Fashion Law also helps negotiate contracts in the modelling business and obligations of parties involved.
- Fashion law and Intellectual Property globally generates Two trillion dollars per year.
Hope you enjoyed reading.