An article by Kamilla Boussouf – supervised by Pr. Eric Engle
« Copying is a natural consequence of fashion » Léon Bendel, 1947.
Legal Protection of designs : Fashion’s latest trend
For centuries, artworks have been the subject of copying. From music, to literature to paintings, none of the art fields have been spared by this fraudulent practice. However, one field in particular remains more vulnerable than ever : the fashion industry. Indeed, there is no specific regulation protecting fashion designs in the United States. With the rise of the internet, fashion trends are spread almost instantly throughout the international market. This is both profitable and dangerous for the fashion industry. Indeed, to a certain extent brands can benefit from the overexposure to achieve international recognition. Nonetheless, when looking at the bigger picture, the counterfeiting of luxury goods does more harm than good. To understand the challenges faced by fashion designers in their quest to obtain protection of fashion designs, the subject will be studied in three parts.
The first theme will provide clear understanding to what is meant by « fashion designs » and how they may be protected under US legislation.
We will then move on to the second theme, which will dive deeper in US legislation and the attempts to protect fashion designs more effectively. Furthermore, we will briefly look at how the European Union ensures maximum protection of its fashion industry.
Finally, in the last theme, we will review counterfeiting and analyse the booming of this market, and study brand strategies to fight against it.