Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fashion and Congress Do a Little Turn on the Legislative Catwalk

Piracy in fashion is nothing new, we've blogged about it many times before:

It is no shock to hear when a new lawsuit is filed over blatant infringement.  The most recently discussed would be Converse's (owned by Nike) complaints against 31 companies (including Skechers, Wal-Mart, Ed Hardy, Ralph Lauren, and K-Mart) for trademark infringement.  Articles discussing the details of the lawsuit can be found herehere, here and here.  Dockets as well as copies of the complaints can be accessed on Bloomberg Law by UW law students (if you'd like to learn how, stop by the Reference Office or ask us here and a reference librarian can show you!).

Photo Credit: www.converse.com

Piracy in fashion is so last season but the lack of any real legal protection provided to fashion designers (and consumers who are unaware that they are purchasing counterfeits) keeps the piracy trend alive and thriving.  The recently proposed Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act has some hoping that protection for fashion designers (and consumers) may be imminent.  See a recent student note, Eyes off the Runway: How to Prevent Piracy in Fashion in the Harvard Negotiation Law Review Online for an in-depth discussion of the IDPPPA.

While we wait for legislators to recognize fashion's need for protection, perhaps counterfeiters and copycats should heed the sage words of the late, great Oscar De La Renta:
Style is more about being yourself.
Rest in peace Oscar.

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