This article explores the issue of large retailers capitalizing on designers’ designs by using the method of “close copying” and the dilemma that designers face due to their lack of recourse since their designs are not afforded copyright protection. The Council of Fashion Designers of America has been lobbying Congress for protection and their efforts have created the Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act. This legislation is currently pending but it is a revised version of the earlier Design Piracy Prohibition Act and it removes many of the controversial provisions that were in the earlier version. Therefore, there is a much greater chance for this version of the bill to pass. Should the bill pass, I propose that large retailers utilize the popular marketing method of designer collaborations in order to be able to continue to use original designs of well-known designers without infringing. Also, this method is will in turn benefit the designers, retailers, and consumers. In reaching my proposal I also explore the current realms of IP protection and why they are inadequate for fashion design, whether a design is a useful article or art, and the arguments against copyright protection for fashion design and why they are flawed.
Arielle K. Cohen,
Designer Collaborations as a Solution to the Fast-Fashion Copyright Dilemma,
Chi. -Kent J. Intell. Prop.
Available at: https://scholarship.kentlaw.iit.edu/ckjip/vol11/iss2/4