It is important to be aware of the fashion market and its requirements such as protecting their Intellectual Property (IP) in this competitive market. IP is the result of applying your mind or the intellect to create something new or original. The fashion industry is an IP intensive industry, which is continuously generated and commercially exploiting creative ideas and innovation. In the fashion industry creativity is not only limited to the act of designing but also includes the ad campaign and marketing of products be it high fashion or ready-to-wear to achieve the competitive edge required for success.
All of the intellectual capital linked to one unique brand will become the greatest value of that particular fashion enterprise. However, there are still many businesses that didn’t protect their IP, even those which are in the fashion industry. For an industry that generates hundreds of billions of dollars every year, and which prides itself on innovation and aspiration, it has become common practice for designers to ‘steal’ ideas from each other because the IP laws are so lax. Business managers need to identify such valuable intangible assets in a timely manner, determine their business relevance, and agree on those to be protected and leveraged through the IP system.
Fashion Design and IPR
Copying is extremely common in the fashion industry, but the effects are particularly acute for emerging designers for whom every single sale of their clothing count. “The damage which will be actioned would by twofold, Firstly it robs the designer of the proceeds from the sale of his or her product, which will often have been the result of good research and development in the investment”, said Gary Assim, partner, and intellectual property specialist at London law firm Shoosmiths… “In addition, it denies the designer rightful recognition as the original creator.”
Fashion designers will find Legal rights very useful in two distinct ways:
- For Protection : Preventing others to benefit from your hard work by copying or using your textile design or making your product without your permission.
- For Exploitation : Generating revenue from your designs by allowing you to enter into a properly licensing agreement for your designs with another third party. IP rights are not always about protection against copying and infringing. They could be beneficial for performing many more subtle functions like identifying the creator of content. By adopting a unique style of approach more synced to that taken within the media and entertainment industries, fashion brands always reach a different level of sophistication. Especially why strategically managing the IP rights are of utmost importance. Intellectual property law also offers a raft of different rights to fashion designers. Some of these will be granted automatically, like copyrights, while others require formal registration, such as trademarks.
Why do you need to Register your IP?
A registered IP is an extremely valuable asset. A registered IP gives you the right to enforce the design against any type of infringement against you. It also gives you the exclusive right to use the design and gives authenticity to others to use the design as specified in your registration. It simply is your personal property and it could also grow in its value and get sold in your own interest. The legal protections under the IP rights enables exclusive rights for designers, artists, business people, entrepreneurs and inventors to use and control their invention and gain profit from their creative works.