IP focused guide to the fashion industry
Produced in partnership with DLA Piper
IP focused guide to the fashion industry

The following IP guidance note Produced in partnership with DLA Piper provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • IP focused guide to the fashion industry
  • Applicable IP rights
  • Copyright
  • Design rights
  • Trade marks
  • Patents
  • Trade secrets
  • Importance of brand
  • Advertising and promotions
  • Manufacturing
  • more

As of exit day (31 January 2020) the UK is no longer an EU Member State. However, in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK has entered an implementation period, during which it continues to be subject to EU law. This has an impact on this Practice Note. For further guidance, see Practice Note: Brexit—IP rights.

The fashion industry is a globalised billion-dollar fast-moving industry, with clothing and accessories often being designed in one country, manufactured in another country and sold worldwide in retail stores or online. Each year, fashion houses design, manufacture, show and sell at least a spring/summer and autumn/winter collection. Each creates hundreds of designs, all of which need to be attractive to consumers and more desirable than those of competitors. As attractive as these designs may be, they often have a very short shelf life: a garment that is this season's hit may be completely outdated the following year. These issues pose certain challenges to the creators of fashion items, in particular when it comes to protecting their designs from being copied by competitors or counterfeiters.

The transient nature of fashion items raises a number of issues such as:

  1. whether it is worthwhile seeking protection through registrations of intellectual property (IP) rights;

  2. what rights should be protected; and

  3. in which jurisdictions rights should be protected

This Practice Note provides