The IDPA is "a bill to amend title 17, United States Code, to extend protection to fashion design, and for other purposes." The question under debate is: does fashion need and/or deserve protection?A question which could be debated forever. On the one hand why should fashion designers be treated any differently to creators of other original artistic works? On the other, it is clear that the fashion industry benefits from knock-offs. The faster the churn of designs from luxury to high street, the faster designers need to produce new looks to fill the vacuum at the top.
Designers currently rely on a mix of trade mark and design rights to assert their rights: just this month a shoe designer, Charles Philip, filed a claim in the Central District of California in Los Angeles against The Gap. Philip argued that The Gap essentially copied his Fall/Winter 2012 loafer collection and stole his striped shoe lining, which he claims is his signature style. Unable to sue for copyright infringement, he claimed trademark infringement, trade dress infringement, unfair competition, dilution, right of publicity, and other claims. Should Philip have copyright over his shoes? Or does he not need copyright given the other raft of rights on which he can rely?
|For more on copyright in fabrics see here|