How do I protect a new fashion item?

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Produced in partnership with DLA Piper
Published on LexisPSL on 17/06/2015

The following IP Q&A Produced in partnership with DLA Piper provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • How do I protect a new fashion item?
  • The idea
  • Consider the aspects of your invention capable of protection
  • Where to protect?
  • Clearing the way
  • File relevant applications immediately
  • Commence use
  • Educate yourself and others
  • An intellectual property policy
  • Make third parties aware of your rights
  • More...

The idea

You think you have invented a bestseller in the fashion industry—beautiful children’s shoes that grow with your child, called GRUEs. Protecting your creation from exploitation by third parties will be key to the success or failure of your business venture.

Consider the aspects of your invention capable of protection

Consider front-loading your efforts to find out whether the GRUE in any shape or form already exists. In a fashion context, an idea itself is generally not protected, only the expression of it. Depending on the jurisdiction in question, the design of your shoes may be protected by design rights, the original design drawings by copyright, the GRUE name and logo by trade mark rights, and the mechanism by which the GRUE shoe grows with your child by patents.

Where to protect?

Consider where to register or otherwise protect your rights. This should be done in all countries of interest. The jurisdictions in which you consider seeking protection will depend on a number of factors, including how easy it is to obtain protection of the GRUE in a particular territory, the strength of that protection, the location of your business, and your target and existing consumers, manufacturers, distributors and suppliers. The likelihood of third-party infringements in a particular jurisdiction as well as costs associated with protecting intellectual property rights will be key considerations. In terms of obtaining protection,

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